3D printing experience for clients comes with varied opinions. I purchased my first 3D printer 10 months ago and that’s when I was first introduced to the world of 3D printing. My encounter has however been a bit confusing. Just like many engineers, I was fascinated by the idea of designing something and then having it developed right at my sight.
The notion of owning my 3D printer initially seemed incredible and out of budget. As I started learning more about the 3D printers, it didn’t take me long to understand that there was an entire market of consumer printers readily available at very low and affordable price. It was at this point that I actually realized that I could get the opportunity to have my very own 3D printer.
After conducting research for several months, I felt I had a better knowledge of what 3D printing entails, not realizing that there was still a lot more to come. Some of the important features I found out were a heated bed, the buid size and if the printer needed a propriety filament. I really wanted to be able to print relatively large objects, an idea that wiped out a significant portion of the market. Initially, I wanted to print objects of at least 5 5 5. however, I finally settled on a printer with a build area of 7 7 7, that would allow me to print even larger objects.
A heated bed was absolutely must for me. Without it, you have no option but to use several tricks to ensure that the print stays secure to the bed as you print. The user must also smear a thin layer of glue in the absence of the heated bed or cover the bed with blue painters tap so as to keep the print fastened to the bed as you print. This however leaves the bottom of the print in a compromised state. Moreover, these additional techniques can also prove to be a hassle.
One other issue is that some printers limit the user to only use their brand filaments. The cost of a propriety filament is normally higher that non-propriety filament. Most printers using non-propriety filaments have increased options for type and color.
After convincing my two cousins to share the the cost of the 3D printer with me, getting into the world of 3 D printing became so cheap and easy. After receiving our 3D printer, we immediately began printing anything that came our way, whether useful or not. It was so amazing to watch the printer start from scratch with nothing on the build plate and just after a few hours, getting a physical object in our hands. initially, we got some successful results especially with small objects that had minor details.
Soon enough, we began experiencing failures, without any sign of the reason they were happening. It was really frustrating. We tried adjusting the settings with a hope of fixing the problems only to be more frustrated. Each time we made progress, a new issue arise. The struggle was real; from equipment failure, to failed prints and so on. This went on for months. Finally, we were able to print parts on relatively consistent basis. The idea of experiencing the unending trail of difficulties and inconsistent prints was never envisioned in the first place.