OK, I bought the 3D Printer, it’s Here, Now What?

My anticipation over getting this stupid thing was reminding me of when I asked for an Atari console back in the 80’s for Christmas, knowing I was getting it, but having to wait until 12:00:01 December 25 to open it.

And just like I watched my stockings getting bigger, Amazon boxes were showing up before the printer. Ugh. Boxes of different filaments I know I’m going to want to use, like Wood! and Metal! and so many colors, gradients, and a bunch of heavier-duty, higher temp nozzles. Oh, the fun that’s going to be had.

So, finally, after getting a tracking notice the printer would be her a day later than scheduled…..it finally arrived.

So I carefully unboxed it and set it all trying to remember how everything had been shipped, just in case. It was packaged very well. Off to a good start.

Also, included were a replacement nozzle with Teflon tubing, electronics, cables, a thumb drive with files, an SD card with files, a very nice, not cheap, putty knife and filament, and other goodies and items I may need to get things humming. They don’t want me to have to ship this whole thing back to China, obviously and for that, I’m sincerely grateful.

They have a website, of course, videos for many things, a pretty good set of resources to troubleshoot, and the printer was fired up, used, and checked before being sent, with a card certifying that. Very nice and Asian-minded, to provide reassurance and confidence of their trust and intent of quality. It’s sincerely appreciated. I have a feeling a lot of Americans would overlook these cultural and professional nuances.

I’m old enough now to know to read instructions, as well or poorly as they may be translated, and go over all the manuals and take things that are complex slowly. Be deliberate about it and don’t just tear into it, as I would have at age 7. It’s taken me that long to learn that lesson.

So the older and wiser me has everything laid out in order, organized, cross-referenced, making sure everything is accounted for and I set it up.

First thing is to calibrate the printer bed to the printer nozzle so the X Y and Z axes are all accounted for and deliniarized. Done.

Heat things up, and start to insert the filament, to print a test job.

That’s when we hit the first problem. The filament won’t go all the way past the gears that act as a chuck for to slowly pass the filament through the Teflon tubing, down to the head and extruder. Something is blocking it. Ungh….

So I deliberate for a while, send an email to the folks at ANYCUBIC with my problem and open a ticket.

And I look online for similar problems, ideas, whatever to pass this obstacle, which is what my life’s become, a series of overcoming obstacles laid in front of me. Nothing. ANYCUBIC sent me a bunch of tools, hex screwdrivers, pliers, clippers, and an actual screwdriver. So I began to think this is going to involve me getting my hands dirty and taking some persona risk here. I’m not an MIT-trained mechanical engineer, believe it or not.

But I proceed to dismantle the extruder pass-through and pull out the gears and springs and see what the problem is. In a poorly lit room, with failing eyes, over a deeply colored Iranian carpet that camouflages anything that falls upon it. Especially tiny screws and springs that are painted black.

So I managed to disassemble that, miraculously, or rather that wasn’t the miraculous part. The part that was miraculous is that I got it all back together again, to work. Somewhat.

I fired it up again and tried to test a print file, and the head is going through the motions, but nothing is coming out. I don’t necessarily think the head nozzle is clogged – it might be- but the gears aren’t grabbing the filament and feeding it properly as it should.

So I’ve taken photos and a video and sent it to China for examination. And that’s where I am now. Waiting to hear back.

Here are some photos of getting things set up:

%d bloggers like this: