Huzzah! I’m Printing in 3 Dimensions

It’s On!

The new filament extruder took the slow boat from China, literally, and finally arrived on my doorstep, with me waiting anxiously like a kid on Christmas eve.

So, as usual, I calmly went to the owner’s manual and re-read it and research as to how to best exchange the part out.

Just kidding! I tore the shipping plastic and paper off it as fast I could while running straight to the printer and started unscrewing pieces and unhooking everything without a thought as to what I was doing. 

And managed to get everything unhooked and unbolted except the red, green, black, and purple wires, which seem to be the color code for everything important for all electronics, everywhere. If you’ve ever installed a car stereo, you know what I’m talking about.

The original extruder had some paint/seal attaching the clipped wired to the unit, which had to be removed or severed like a surgeon would need to sever a neuron from cancerous material in. brain. In a dimly lit restaurant. With people running around him dancing. It became that delicate – I’m not kidding. Something for people with reading glasses and big fingers should take note of.

Once managing to do to that and removing the old filament from the nylon tube and re-zip tying the cables so they wouldn’t interfere, I realigned the bed with the printing nozzle. I have a feeling that aspect of 3D printing is VERY important. It seems like it would be since we’re woking in microns of printing distance to the actual project as it prints, so just a ~001. offset distance on any plane, X,Y or Z at the bottom would yield a compounded dramatic offset problem as you continued t work upwards as printing. It’s like if you omitted a row of bricks while building a square tower. At first, the difference wouldn’t be that much of an issue, but as you kept building upward, the difference would become tragically noticeable as the tower began to lean more and more to that side.

I’m sure there’s an engineering or perhaps physics term for this phenomenon, but as I’m neither a physicist nor engineer, if that weren’t painfully obvious, I don’t know what it is.

So I leveled the bed a best as I could with my failing eyes. A very imprecise task, which seems like it would be better handled than by someone’s eyes and piece of paper. But that’s the current method.

I queued up the test file and hit “print.” The rockets smoked and trembled and began to flare. It was printing. We had life!

Not so fast.

First, the filament wasn’t spooled correctly, which I’d checked, but didn’t double-check. Always double-check. 

Also, for whatever reason – I know the bed was heated to the proper temperature, the base wasn’t secured well to the very first layer of the project. SO each time the bed or nozzle moved, the asset, as I’ll call it, moved as well, which was causing a bird’s nest result, That was neat and interesting to watch, but not the correct result.

So I corrected everything and tried again

This time everything primed and proceed to work correctly. And sure enough, a few minutes later, I had my first correctly printed test! Huzzah!

So now it’s off to the next failure! That seems to be what life is about. A series of failures with a few nice easy breathing spots in between. Tha’s learning as you go, which seems to be what life is. Profound, eh?

 

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