I have been waiting for this since day one of my internship at 3D Print Works and here it is – my very first 3D print project!
Entering the futuristic world of 3D printing is very exciting. However, we are yet to reach the point when you just choose a cool 3D model, tell your 3D printer to make it, sit back and relax. Here are some things I discovered which might help you.
Choose your model carefully
When you have a cutting-edge technology tool like a 3D printer in your hands, it is tempting to choose a cutting-edge design piece for your first 3D printing project. Many incredibly beautiful models are available for free on 3D printing repositories such as Thingiverse and MyMiniFactory. However, I would not recommend them for a 3D printing novice.
Choose a nice, simple model with no overhanging parts or small, intricate pieces. That is why I started with my animal cell (download it here).
Of course, you can build your very own models from scratch using a CAD software. Additionally, you can get awesome 3D modelling software for free! I must say that getting comfortable with a 3D modelling software interface and making the best use of all its features is challenging, but that is a topic I shall discuss further in another post.
3D Printer and Filament
For this project, I used a Robox 3D printer which is currently one the most popular desktop 3D printers. I was quite impressed with its stylish and compact design. Plus, it comes with the Automaker software that allows you to control the printer from your PC via USB.
However, the software is not as intuitive and easy to use as a beginner may wish. Adjusting the size of your model, quality and fill density settings can be very tricky. I wanted to get my cell printed quickly, so initially I set the fill density to 10%. As you can see the picture below this significantly reduced the quality of my model. In my second attempt, I set it to 25% and got a much better quality-wise result.
High-quality models with many details take longer to print so finding the right balance between reasonable printing time and models’ quality is crucial in 3D printing!
Filament slippage problem
This is a common problem which is particularly frustrating for a 3d printing novice. What I found particularly disappointing is the ineffectiveness of the Robox filament ejection procedure. After running it several times without any results, I ended up pulling the filament out of the printer’s head.
I should warn you that pulling filament like that may damage your printer, but luckily this wasn’t the case and got my animal cell model printed in a beautiful polar white colour….and I love it!