3D Printer

During the 2020 lockdown, I started getting into the mindset of making things. I’d been facinated by 3D Printing and CNC for a while, but didn’t really know anything about them. So whilst I had time to kill I set about learning about both CNC and 3D Printing to figure out what was what. Whilst I’ll talk about the CNC stuff later, let’s talk about 3D Printing.

The Pandemic was in full swing and all these videos started popping up on youtube about people using their 3D Printers to print out PPE for the local hospitals. I knew that as I knew nothing about 3D Printers, I’d missed the boat on being able to help out with that one. However the idea captivated me, being able to print things on demand cutting out supply chains, and being able to design my own things to make.

I looked around at the options for 3D Printers and found several that looked good, after looking at the reviews, and youtube videos I boiled it down to the choice of two printers. The Prusia Mk3, and the Ender 3 Pro. Both looked like very capable machines out of the box, and with the much much lower price tag, I settled on the Ender 3 Pro. Specifically, I purchased the Ender 3Xs Pro.

The model that I bought came with a “Silent Mainboard” and both a magnetic bed and glass bed which can be switched out as desired.

I’d read lots of reviews about this machine and it looked like a great place to start and it’s also something that can grow with me. There’s lots of upgrades and alterations that can be made which sets the machine apart from others that I’d seen. The Prusia Mk 3, looked like it did everything straight out of the box and that’s great for someone that simply wants to print stuff. However, for me this was a project that was ment to keep me occupied and learning.

At the time, they were selling on Banggood for £220. So I figured that was a good started price, and tried it out.

Straight out of the box, it was great. The instructions for assembly were clear, especially with the YouTube videos from Teaching Tech and others. Everything went together nicely and it appeared to work after assembly.

Levelling the bed was easy using the paper technique that I’d been told about on the videos.

Using a MicroSD card I started by printing out one of the sample files that came with the printer. It worked and I ended up with a little white 3D doggy.

Overall, a year later, I would highly recommend someone getting a printer similar to this as their first 3D Printer. Not this exact model, as some things have changed in the market. I’m extremely happy and with the upgrades that I’ll be detailing in the up coming posts, you’ll get to see how I made this from an OK printer to something that I’m extremely happy with and love tinkering with as time and funds allow.

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