3D Printer - the beginnings

printer mutations

Over the few months that I had the printer I changed it quite a bit.

First Prints
3D Printer Aug 2016

Its a running gag that most of the things you print on a 3d printer are 3d printer parts. This turns out to be all too true since 3d printer parts are both useful(for 3d printing) and give you a sense of having accomplished something right away (since that part is useful right away). You only break out of that cycle once you have printed all but a kitchen sink attachment for the printer.

But before that happens you graduate from printing stuff by other people like filament guides and filament roll mounts (traditionally the first 2 things you print) to designing simple things yourself (like tool or nozzle mounts). Soon after that you start to also design true upgrades for your printer like decouplers for the z-axis and holders for an inductive bed probe. After that you start to design the really crazy stuff like your own printheads

Parts for kit-3d printers are cheaper than chips so significant updates can be had from 3EUR (induction probe) to around 20EUR for an all-aluminum heated bed. Chinese copies of popular hotends and extruders are also crazy cheap if you can wait or just cheap if you want to have the part sooner. this leads to interesting upgrade opportunities. I designed a completely new hotend for about 16EUR in parts (5 EUR all metal hotend, 7EUR metal extruder, Rest for screws and misc parts) and some ABS filament and compared to the pre-misassembled POS hotend my kit came with its superior in every way. The hotend is downloadable from my thingiverse page BTW.

Before you know it you have swapped out all but the basic mechanical parts of the printer and you are thinking about swapping those as well. This might seem like an awful lot of work but in fact its fun and you end up learning enough to turn even the cheapest 3d Printer kit into something that can print at the quality of machines 10 times its price.

3d printer
3D Printer Nov 2016