So you bought a 3D printer…now what?

We bought one. It took about two days to put the 3D printer together and we anxiously awaited the first print. Yeah, that was a big blob of filament mess. It’s not easy and we’re not sure why manufacturers sell them and market them as out-of-the box solutions. Make no mistake, they are not easy and you need a little help (ok a lot of help) getting started without-of-the box printers, and that’s where we can help. Don’t get me wrong, 3D printing is awesome, and we use it from fixing household items to creating household decor. But unless you can get your 3D printer humming along, it’s not going to work out of the box and it’s going to be super frustrating. See our blog about how We Bought a 3D Printer to fix a 3D printer. Yeah, we had to do that because there were just too many issues with the design of the first printer we bought. Trust me, we’ve made all the mistakes when it comes to 3D printing and can help you with yours.

The reality is that you can buy a $200 3D printer kit, and it will turn into a $500 3D printer inabout two weeks because there is just not information and the quality is not good. You have to know so much about the intricacies, the programming and the math behind all of it. We also found out you have to know a little (sometimes a lot) about coding, and that’s just not what you would expect if you buy an out-of-the box solution. It’s just supposed to work. But trust me, it doesn’t. A lot of people give up on it, and I understand why. Who has that kind of time? We learned the hard way, and I spent a ton of hours, even though I have the experience to know what to look for. I still got caught up with issues that took me days to solve. We are hoping you can learn from our mistakes. We started out doing this for fun and quickly realized we could help people by opening up a community forum about it.

One thing that vexed us was bed leveling. It’s a must. And unless you have about 3-5 uninterrupted hours to spend fixing, testing, trying, retesting and fixing — again and again — it will drive you crazy. It’s easier to call somebody whose already made ALL the mistakes. My girlfriend likes to keep examples of the worst prints I’ve ever made, and I just want to throw them away. Here is one of the better examples.

3D Printed Mess