Having a 3D printer at home has been such a blast so far. It’s been about a month since my Printrbot Jr arrived on my desk at work in a box marked ‘fragile’ and I’ve learned so much about it already. I’ve been tinkering with software configurations, replacing whole parts of the printer, tuning belts, cursing lots and also laughing at every mistake and funny print I get. I’ve been collecting half finished prints and oodles of twisted looking melted filament.
I’m still compiling all of the knowledge I want to pass on (in an entertaining format of course) so for now, here’s some of my more successful prints. You can see little clues such as my Y-axis being a little wobbly still (the visible ‘lines’ every 10 layers or so), but overall I’m incredibly impressed with how this $US399 machine is capable of.
I have put an American quarter and Australian 10c coin in each photo so you can get a feel for the scale of these objects. Enjoy!
Naturally, one of the first things I tried to print was an owl. It’s on Thingiverse here. This owl became my ‘white whale’, as every time I went to print it, something different went wrong. Finally, I started seeing a pattern emerging, and worked out that there was something wrong with the gcode being output to the printer (gcode essentially tells the printer how to print the layers, like when you spool a file to an inkjet printer for example). I downloaded a different version of the owl, flipped it and it worked fine. Weird! So now I have all of these 3D printed logs with feet on them, and they all have failed at the exact same point. They look kinda creepy! But I kept them.
An eggcup, very cute! I downloaded it from Thingiverse here.
Okay so I’m going to admit here that I decided to print this because I wanted to freak out my 3D printer and really punish it. Well didn’t it return the favour and freak me out with how well it did! While it’s definitely far from a perfect print, I was captivated for hours watching this thing emerge layer by layer. Incredible. Btw this is a ‘retired’ design by the wonderfully talented Jessica and Jesse of Nervous System. They have uploaded their retired designs on Thingiverse here. This bracelet is one of my favourites.
This above is Winterfell, from the TV series Game of Thrones (based on a series of books by George R. R. Martin). Can you hear the theme song in your head already? I’ve had in stuck in my head since I printed this yesterday. This print is really small, less than 8cm x 8cm, and only 208 layers tall (that’s less than 2.5cm). There are some pleasing little details in this one, like tiny windows and doors in the buildings. I like this one a lot. This model is also on Thingiverse.