So this is less of a build post and more of a quick update on my adventures in 3D printing. The short version is that I finally got my printer built and calibrated after over five months. I could make excuses, but truthfully, I think this just shows that tinkering around is much lower on my priorities list than I thought. Anyways, this will be light in content. Anybody that is considering building their own 3D printer probably has most likely done enough research on the subject to ignore anything I will say. Instead, this will largely consist of progress pictures and small tips I picked up along the way.
I ordered the Prusa i3 MK2 kit on June 15th. Shipping was $75, so I threw in an extra reel of ABS filament to get a little more value out of it. It arrived July 27th since they were backordered, and all things considered, I was pretty pleased with the whole experience. While the packaging wasn’t pretty, it held up well.
Unfortunately, it sat in my basement for three months during the summer soaking up humidity. I ended up having to oil up the threaded rods and nuts used for the base of the printer. All moving parts are stainless, so you don’t have much to worry about there, but this certainly won’t last through the apocalypse. As a side note, the filament can also be temperamental when in humid environments.
When I finally got to starting the build, I found the sub packaging more than adequate. Everything was labeled well, categorized, and they even included some candy. I have a soft spot for companies that add a little thank-you in their packaging (ThorLabs, Comp-Tac, etc).
The best part about the build was that they included instructions with GOOD pictures and spare parts. IKEA could learn from this. A large screen monitor to pull up pictures would be ideal though. The pictures are good, but I had to squint a few times before I pulled up the electronic picutres.
The build itself is relatively simple. Tools I would recommend are a ruler/caliper, flashlight, magnet, a utility knife, and a second set of pliers. All of the necessary tools are included, but needless to say, the most important tool is a well lit and clean assembly area.
There were a few snags along the line. I forgot a recessed nut in the extruder assembly. I also cracked the electronics housing, but that should be easily replaceable (seriously though, that box is way too small). If you do your part, you should be able to complete the build in around eight hours. If you have a second set of hands, you can also assemble several parts in parallel.
With the printer finished, I calibrated it, and went to go get some fresh air before doing my first print. There would be at least two months before I could play with it again. Travel and work… So with that, I’ll leave you. Future builds will still be posted, but other things will likely eat up most of my time. Adios until then.