3D Printing and Living

Wow! It’s been forever since I posted something. Isn’t it funny how when life gets busy you forget you even have a blog? Not that that’s ever happened to me or anything.

I think the title up there says something about 3D printing, so I’d better write something about it. It’s hard for me to believe that I have mentioned anything about it, but that really illustrates how long it’s been since I posted. Late last year, I acquired a Lulzbot Taz 4 printer, and went to town printing things in silver PLA (a plant-based plastic).

SquirrelProgress RabbitSquirrel Hedgies Tadpole

 

After some serious problems with ABS (standard Lego-like plastic), I figured out that I had a calibration issue (user error), and finally started getting good results (ABS has a much higher printing temperature than PLA, and the expansion of the nozzle and print bed created problems).

I’ve got several colors of filaments, and a couple I haven’t tried yet. I have yet to try my fancy extruder head that does two filaments at once (including a flexible one). I’ve been working on getting my OctoPi working (and it’s nearly complete!). An OctoPi is a Raspberry Pi running an image with OctoPrint preinstalled. OctoPrint is simply a network print server for a 3D printer. With a camera installed, I can monitor prints remotely, and cancel jobs if I see a problem. I have a few tweaks to make before I’m happy with the OctoPi setup, though. I plan on moving the camera a little farther from the build platform for a better view, and printing an enclosure for the Raspberry Pi that clips to the printer frame.

Ok, lots of stuff there. Interestingly, I also picked up an entirely different type of printer, second-hand, and I’ve sent it in to the factory for a little upgrade and repair work. I’ll end up with a Formlabs Form 1+ for MUCH less than buying it new, even with the upgrades and repairs. I’m looking forward to making ultra detailed prints with it.

Incidentally, I’ve opened up a 3D printing hub on 3DHubs.com, so people can order printed things from me. I don’t expect to make serious money at it, but it’s there in case someone local really needs something quickly.

So, I’ve been busy, and I sure hope I can keep up with posting more frequently. If you have any questions about 3D printing (or anything else, really), feel free to ask me and I’ll do my best to help find some answers!

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