This is what excitement looks like

7 unexpected hours, but I have my first print

I’ve been a patient girl and waited all weekend to open up my bundle of excitement.  Now to unbox the beast.  Everything seemed pretty straight forward, parts in cardboard, bags of screws and nuts and spare cables and an SD card.  I was a little concerned though by the lack of paper in there.  I’m used to having a good wad of uselessness to throw away; warranty cards, warning labels they forgot to print in the manual, manuals in twelve different languages, shiny marketing material and something to show me how an allen key works.  But there was none! not a single slip of paper anywhere.  I knew that the home 3D printing scene was DIY, but please don’t throw me in this deep!  To my relief and a little embarrassment, I found a manual on the [unlabeled] SD card.  lets not talk about how long that took me to figure out.

This is what excitement looks like
This is what excitement looks like

I had to attach the print head and put together a few different pieces.  Just enough to make me feel useful, but not so much that I hit my limitations.  Allen key, screwdriver and stanley knife, yeah I got this.

so shiny.  Just like that feeling when you open up your new iphone and see the sparkle.
so shiny. Just like that feeling when you open up your new iphone and see the sparkle.

The most time consuming part of all this was installing the software and drivers and other bits that the drivers said they needed before they would deign to do their job.  After downloading three different versions of Python and buying winzip and installing and uninstalling then reinstalling but in a different order, I finally found the secret formula and had everything ready to print.  Filament installed (see pic for my first mod), plate leveled (surprisingly easy), and ready to print!  and it only took 6.5 hours.  To be fair this included a run to the pizza shop, but i’m sure that’s a perfectly standard part of any new install.

Sophie's toy recorder made a serviceable spool holder till I can print a new one.
Sophie’s toy recorder made a serviceable spool holder till I can print a new one.

Note to self, when something is sensitive to humidity, don’t open it in a tropical downpour.  Oh Brisbane, I love the heat and summer storms, but the humidity is killing me (currently 87%);  and now it’s killing my filament.  The first world problem I never knew existed.  Did you know that 3D printing filament is just like your hair?  If it’s humid, it’s going to go a bit haywire.  If only it was possible to put my hair in an airtight container with some desiccant till the humidity flees.

My first project is to print a calibration cube.  It seems to load itself and I just go with the default settings in Replicator G and hit print.  It’s super late but I’ve come too far to go to bed now.  Push on, stay strong and print.

Well it’s the end of a long evening and I have a 3D printed object.  It’s not pretty, but it does show promise no really it’s pretty ordinary… lets hope i can tweak this machine to do what it can and should.  I now have a table covered in empty packets, left over screws, pizza boxes and Tupperware containers.  The filament is in the Tupperware and the leftovers have been relegated to cling wrap.  Must get more airtight containers.

First test print.   Exciting but a little dissappointing.  I think the feed rate was too high and the resolution was too low.  The bottom layer on the raft was a bit like basket weave too. Lots of room for improvement
First test print.
Exciting but a little dissappointing. I think the feed rate was too high and the resolution was too low. The bottom layer on the raft was a bit like basket weave too. Lots of room for improvement
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