I decided to give myself a try in the new and emerging technology of 3D printing and I’m here to talk about my experience with it. I had heard a lot about this and done a lot of internet research on 3D printing and it seemed very interesting to me. At one stage, I was curious to know more that I decided to give myself a little experience with it. The internet helped me my way through all of it, I self-taught the processes, required software information, even the part by part detailed explanations. It was very challenging just to learn about it. I read many blogs of people’s experience, the challenges each had to face, about the working of the machines, how to create the designs, what kind products to be designed, and a lot more research.
There were many models to research on and honestly got me confused a lot. I later decided to seek an expert for the opinions and he showed me the entire procedure of the software, model designing, and the printing of the product. Everything he had done was a huge question mark and I was pretty sure he got very annoyed with the hectic amount of questions I had, but the entire process of 3D printing itself was mesmerizing for me and I couldn’t resist myself.
We decided to create a simple lego piece and so we took a structured design of it from his software. There are many precautions one needs to take before printing the structure and so we checked every part of the printer. The most important part of any print is the first few layers. We need to make sure to build a good solid base for the 3D print for it to at least have a chance. While it takes the time to print, it’s beautiful to watch each part being printed. If something goes wrong in the first few minutes, it’s not going to get better was something that I realized during the process. Another thing we need to be careful about is that they are easily affected by the environment and temperature. Cold areas aren’t the perfect place to print the object as it makes the plastic go hard which turns out to be brittle and less flexible.
When I did my first try, the first few tries all failed even with proper guidance from around. When one thing was set right, something else mattered and it kept going on for a few tries. At that point, I felt mad at myself because I couldn’t create an object as small and simple as a lego piece. 3D printing at times can take hours and hours and a lot of our patience especially if it’s your first time. So if anybody is planning on investing in this, get ready to use up a lot of your patience and time. The size of the object printed completely depends on the machine or printer used and higher the size needed, higher goes the expense for the machine and products. I also realized the printer can only print in one material at a time and it isn’t multi-talented. After hours and hours of mistakes, mood swings, printing, and other technical issues, I was able to successfully create my first ever 3D printed object though it was a tiny lego piece.
The first experience in this field is never a happy or satisfactory one. It is frustrating and troubling to the extent that you think it’s impossible. It was a very challenging one for me and not the easiest to face and that’s why I decided to go for an expert rather than trying it out on my own. He has been dealing with this for quite a while. I remember how he had told me his first experience with 3D printing and it wasn’t good either. We need a lot of patience as it never comes out right all the time. When one thing is set right, something else goes wrong. Each part needs to be done with immense detailing how much ever small the object is. One mistake ends up making you cancel the entire program and redo it.
Most times, the problem occurs when the base layer is not done properly, if a mistake is found make sure to cancel it soon before the completion of the product. One of the most common problems that occur is the first layer not sticking on the bed and for this, I’d give solutions of checking the temperature, the bed level of the printer, fan seep of the printer, and nozzle height. Another common cause is the nozzle, it could either be clogged or could be the filament problems. Overheating is yet another major difficulty we face. Overheating often ends in warped and misshaped objects, and it usually happens when the working layers get smaller. The solution to it is to cool each layer as you go further.