If you have been following me on linkedin or instagram you have seen that I've been 3d printing a lot. Almost every day since I setup the printer. You might be wondering how I got into this and my goal so I'm going to talk about that a bit now.
How it started
I took engineering classes in hs. I struggled so much with cad designs that I created my own method of figuring things out. Anyway I saw my first 3d printer in ~10th grade. The teacher was meh but I'll never forget that I was like "I want one of those". Fast forward to over a decade later and I see a coupon from Microcenter on getting a creality ender 3 pro for $100. Who can say no to that?? I went and bought the printer and 2 filaments for ~$150 and then let it sit for a week.
Fast Forward to Now
New Day, New Print! lol that's the vibe I've been on. I set this up right before Christmas and I've just been printing random ideas since. I don't want to limit myself on what I will or won't print. I won't lie here either, I've made some more initial investments I didn't expect. All in all when buying your printer you should also look into buying the following:
- 1-2 spools of filament
- a light attachment
- a bed leveler
- a caliber
- a notebook for tracking prints settings and thoughts
Lessons So Far
It's only been a few weeks but I have been using two programs exclusively, TinkerCad and Cura. TinkerCad is a web cad program. It's cool if your new but I'm not sure it's for me long term. I find it super frustrating to center things and getting them "merged" together. I'm going to probably end up switching to fusion 360. It is more like the software I used in hs and college. I think this goes under not teaching old dogs new tricks. lol
Now Cura...Cura isn't bad. I think I'll stick with it long term as my slicer program. It seems to work on every OS (I'm only using mac right now) so it seems like a stable choice. Now what is a slicer? Its a program that creates the "how to" for building your design. You can slice something and then adjust temps, speed, and even preview how things will be built.
I just want to note here that I don't know if there is a program that can do both. I watched a lot of beginner youtube videos and joined some subreddits to even get started. If you want to use the same resources I suggest you start with searching for your printer on youtube > search beginner prints on youtube (gets you excited to print) > join r/3dprinting > join r/fixmyprint > start printing.
I actually have no plans for the future. I like this as a hobby, but that's as far as I've gotten. I'd love to start making more around the house, gardening, and car things but I'm still learning my printer. Maybe by the end of year I'll be making detailed castles and such that I'll post. Who knows. The mystery is the most exciting part.