Printer’s Journal #1: I Got a 3d Printer

I bought a 3d printer of my very own.  I tried to not.  I worked on the one at work.  I helped build the frame, attaching stepper motors, and gluing together support rods.  I even learned to solder a bit so I could help attach LEDs and other teeny-tiny parts I don’t fully understand.  Then there was calibration.  Weeks of trying to understand bed leveling, and extruded stepper distance, odd height calculations in some kind of code.  Then during more calibration work, the electronics started to smoke.  Something, called “the shield” I think, went up in smoke and I couldn’t wait anymore.  So I pulled the trigger on one of the fantasy items on my Amazon gift list, a Monoprice Maker Select v2.

It’s not the most expensive printer.  But it required no soldering, no setting of stepper distances, and mounting of motors.  I had to put in like four screw and snap in maybe three plastic wire connectors.  In fact, about an hour and one YouTube video after opening the box, I was printing.

My first print was gcode file #1 on the included micro sd card.  It was a butterfly, like the one that was stuck to my new Maker Select’s print bed when I pulled it from the box.  It failed.  The filament didn’t stick.  Looked like the extruder was too high, or the printer bed was too low.  Same difference.  I stopped the print a few minutes after it started and set to leveling that print bed.

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My second print was file #2 from the include sd card.  The first layers went well.  I was pumped.  I left the printer going, all by it’s lonesome, while I went out for dinner and drinks.  My favorite topic of conversation was the mystery plastic thingy being made in my basement while I was away.  When I got back home I saw my first successful 3d print.  It was a tiny plastic chair.  It was fucking awesome.  No turning back now.

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