My Experience With 3D Printing

Updated on July 27, 2018
Guckenberger profile image

Alex has been a photographer since he was in grade school. He thoroughly enjoys various arts, and he participates in some of them at times.

My Personal Creality CR-10

Introduction

3D printing is a relatively new technology. It is very exciting and filled with possibilities. Recently, instead of taking a much needed vacation, I decided to invest in something very different. Not too many days ago, I bought a Creality CR-10 3D printer. This model is not the most expensive 3D printer on the market, but it is also far from the cheapest. It is a great size for beginners who want additional space as the beginner becomes the intermediate.

3D Printed Object is the Green Plastic Statue

The Purchase

My adventures herein began when I decided to buy the 3D printer. The night prior, I got no sleep. I was like a child on Christmas Eve! I was so very excited. I knew this would open up so many doors in my life, and make life so much more fun.

Homemade with Printer on LEFT; Store-Bought on RIGHT

I found a 3D print shop that would be open early in Delaware. I made the trip over to Printed Solid, Inc. I had some difficulty finding my way to the entrance (there are multiple buildings for the business it turns out), but I soon found my way in. Apparently, most people buy their products online. I do purchase online from time to time, but I prefer the ability to take home a product the same day (and without shipping charges!).

3D Printed Items are in Green

These 3D printed blocks are compatible with multiple brands.
These 3D printed blocks are compatible with multiple brands.

The man who I first spoke with was very kind. He was incredibly nice to me. This man was the owner. At first, I believe that he wasn't entirely sure what he should think of me (this is often the case when two people meet for the first time). However, after sharing some hours with me, he seemed to get much more comfortable. He was very informative and patient.

3D Printed Boat Made as Functionality Test

I purchased a completely set-up Creality CR-10. The printers at this store can be bought built and ready. I still needed to be instructed on how to prepare the machine when I got it home (some cords needed to be removed for safe storage in the car), but it was only two pieces which needed to be connected once I arrived home. The 3D printers here can be purchased after being pretested for errors. Above is a photograph of an object which was printed on my machine as a test.

Failed Attempts at Printing Death Whistles

3D printings requires a great quantity of patience. One does not need to give up if a project goes wrong. These can be learning experiences.
3D printings requires a great quantity of patience. One does not need to give up if a project goes wrong. These can be learning experiences.

Set Up

The primary issue that I had after purchasing this printer was that the control box momentarily slipped. After a short fall, something had gone wrong! After setting up all of the right wires a second time in my house (the first time was before the drop), I couldn't figure out why the bed wouldn't move. I later decided to use the special screw removers to check inside of the control box. I found what my problem was; two plugs had come undone while they were inside of the control box! 3D printers are amazing, but they do require a lot of patience.

Model of an Indian-Style Temple

Another example is the basic calibration of the machine. One should level the bed and then the nozzle before attempting one's first print. If the nozzle ever becomes too close or too far from the bed during printing, this can be a big problem.

Replica of a 15th Century Depiction of Vishnu

I personally downloaded Ultimaker Cura as the main software that I would use in conjunction with the remainder of the mechanism. Cura is free and relatively easy to use. One needs to find or create an object stl file, slice the file, and take it to the printer.

Miniature Plastic Statue on Shelf

3D printed model is the small green plastic statue in front of the jade (green) laughing Buddha. In Cura, 3D objects can be scaled for different sizes and slightly different shapes.
3D printed model is the small green plastic statue in front of the jade (green) laughing Buddha. In Cura, 3D objects can be scaled for different sizes and slightly different shapes.

Many variables can effect the final print, from how the stl file was sliced, the heat of the nozzle and the heat of the bed, the speed of the fan, to the speed the machine is set to run on. 3D printers are part of a craft that is very hands-on and experimental. Prints can take hours, and one may desire to try the same print on multiple settings to perfect the finalized work. Regardless, these things are super awesome in the end!

3D Printed Statue Miniature of Siddhartha

Final Thoughts

3D printers are a technology of the future. Numerous items can be made with them; houses, functional car parts, toys, shaped foods, pots, kitchen utensils, and so on. This new technology could lead to yet another end of manual work and suffering for those of us (the majority of United States citizens) in the lower portions of the economic strata.

Sped-Up 3D Printing in Action!

As washing machines and microwaves enabled mothers to go into the workforce, who knows what creativity people will get to with the additional energy future generations will hopefully enjoy!

© 2018 Alexander James Guckenberger

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    • Guckenberger profile imageAUTHOR

      Alexander James Guckenberger 

      7 weeks ago from Maryland, United States of America

      Thank you so much Ethel. I appreciate you. :)

    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      7 weeks ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      I love technology even the sort I do not understand. I wonder what the future holds? Could be in for fascinating times. Thanks for sharing your experience of 3D printing

    • Guckenberger profile imageAUTHOR

      Alexander James Guckenberger 

      7 weeks ago from Maryland, United States of America

      Adrienne, I hope you get a chance to explore this amazing hobby.

    • profile image

      Alexander James Guckenberger 

      7 weeks ago

      Adrienne, I hope you get the chance to explore this fascinating hobby.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      7 weeks ago from USA

      I remember when I first heard about 3D printing, but never really had a chance to try it. Thank you for posting your experience.

    • Guckenberger profile imageAUTHOR

      Alexander James Guckenberger 

      2 months ago from Maryland, United States of America

      Peggy, they are plastic. :)

      All the materials have some plastic in them. I've been using polylactic acid (pla), but there's also abs.

      I need to buy an updated nozzle for other materials, but there are plastics mixed with metals and plastics mixed with wood pieces that I could use too. I've felt projects made with these, and they do feel like metal and wood respectively. A nozzle that could handle that kind of material can go for about $90, and my current projects haven't required wood or metal so I'm sure you can see why I'd wait for now! XD

      I am still excited Peggy! ^_^

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      2 months ago from Houston, Texas

      This is fascinating technology if it is used for good. Are the items you made plastic or paper? Are there choices of materials? I can understand why you were excited about this purchase.

    • Guckenberger profile imageAUTHOR

      Alexander James Guckenberger 

      2 months ago from Maryland, United States of America

      Mary, I definitely will!!! :D

    • Guckenberger profile imageAUTHOR

      Alexander James Guckenberger 

      3 months ago from Maryland, United States of America

      Eric, that is very cool. I totally support public access to useful technologies.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      3 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      We had been following this new technology but have not yet ventured into buying one so this is really interesting. I hope you will share more about your future projects.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Very interesting. We can actually rent/use one in our local library.

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