3D Printer of Our Own

We got a Ender 3 3D Printer so we can print from home, rather than borrowing the one at Lewis.

We found a used Ender 3 on Facebook's Marketplace and decided to take the plunge into 3D Printing! Jess and I had played with the 3D printer at Lewis, and we designed some things to help Jess around the lab. A used printer was nice to start off with because we didn't have to do the initial setup, adjusting and configuration. We just needed to plug it in, level it and get printing!

Leveling the bed did have a steep learning curve, but after a bunch of trial and error we got it working!

Our first print was a configuration boat. The 3DBenchy is often used to test and benchmark 3D printers when they are reviewed, as the model includes a number of difficult-to-print features including: symmetry, overhanging curved surfaces, smooth surfaces, planar horizontal faces, large, small and slanted holes, low-slope-surfaces, first layer details and tiny surface details.

Our Benchy came off the print bed close to end, so we stopped it (the result is to the left). Since it made it pretty far, and we were pleased with the result we decided that we could move on to things we actually wanted to print!

If you want to see more examples of what we've printed as well as things we've learned along the way, follow our 3D Printing blog.