3D Printing 2

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3D Printing

Another Text Heavy Post Everybody! But some photos and a video clip towards the end.

In my 1st 3D printing post – here – I told you about my nephew WMG getting his 1st 3D printer, the nice 3D items he printed with it, and the fact that it had to be sent back because of problems.

I’m starting this time with the arrival of the 2nd printer. Again a Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer v2.

This time setup instructions came with it, along with a paper with instructions regarding what E-mail address to contact should a problem occur. So I sat with my nephew and we went through the setup step by step. But there wasn’t anything different in the instructions than the way he’d set up the first time following what he’d learnt on YouTube.

Again, there were no initial problems, a bit of tweeking of the level of print bed and off he went printing.

But a problem occured very quickly with this one, a problem that couldn’t be worked around.  The printer stopped reading the included microSD card.  Kept on saying that there were no files on the card when it had come with content and my nephew had added a few files that he had already printed and a new one he hoped to print, and looking at the card in a PC showed that the files were all there.  We even formated and put some files on a card that my nephew had for his camera, with the same result.

A look online showed us that we were not the first ones to have this problem but there was no solution given, only saying that Monoprice was sending them out a replacement microSD card, but no indication of whether this had been a success or not.

So I E-mailed the address given inside the top of the box when we received it.  No response other than the automatic one.  I sent a second message.  Again, no response.  It was only at the third time of asking that I got a response, and that response wasn’t much help.  The person who responded wanted to know what size and type of microSD cards we had been using.  Now seeing as I had made it clear in my message that it was the microSD card supplied with the machine that had been the first one the machine didn’t recognise had any files on it, he shouldn’t have had to ask me what size and type of card I was using – surely the tech of the manufacturer shouldn’t need to ask particulars of the card.  I was then asked to try it with a microSD card that was known to be nonHD and smaller than 4Gb.  I did, but same result.

So once again Monoprice told me to contact Amazon UK for it to be returned to them.

And once again Amazon were wonderful.  I discussed it via online chat, a pre-paid label was E-mailed to me, and as soon as the package was there the money was sent back to me.

Which left my nephew without a 3D printer, and, as much as he liked the price and the print quality, when it was working, of the Monoprice mini, he didn’t feel like putting in an order for another of the same.  But he only had the same budget to work with.  So, we set about some more research – new machines, different prices on older models, etc., all to be taken into consideration when thinking about what I should order for him this time.

It took a bit of sorting through possibilities, but we came to a descision in the end and put in an order for a …..  Creality Ender 3 Pro.

Ultimately he would like to upgrade to a printer with a much larger print bed, and even build his own 3D printer in a few years time. But at this point the much larger sizes are much more expensive and therefore out of his budget, and he doesn’t have the knowledge and experience to build from scratch yet.  But this new model from Creality caught our eye.  No reviews yet as it had only just come into the country, so we looked at the reviews of the previous models in this same range, as well as looking carefully at what customers had to say about the company.

What we found out was that the printer we liked the look of was not hugely more expensive than the money that was refunded for the returned printer.  And this was because it was part built and therefore need a couple of hours labour to finish the building and connecting all the wireing.  This would be good experience for my nephew, under supervision as he is only 12.  The build plate was larger than on the previous machine as well, and came with a magnetic mat that went over the heated plate so that the mat could be removed from the base after printing, and the printed item peeled off this magnetic mat, rather than having to try and pull off a printed item off the heated base using a pallet knife as on the Monoprice.  And also not needing any sort of adhesion material put on as many a 3D printer require.

The reviews for previous models were favourable, and people were very complimentary about the company and the support they offered. As I said in one of my previous posts on this subject, I would expect there to be teething troubles or bigger problems with a small number from a big batch of any type of machine, but I would expect the company to sort them out, and the company involved with this new machine appeared to have dealt well with any and all problems experienced by a small number of customers of other models of printers they had sold.

When it arrived everything was well packaged, there was a quick guide sheet in the box as well as two versions of the setup booklet on the microSD card.  I printed out both – the one that was all pictoral for WMG and the one with pictures and text description for me.

All tools needed, spare nozzles, even a nozzle cleaning wire and pliers, came with the printer.

We took half an hour or so on several different days to build the printer completely.

We took lots of photos during the construction and short video clips while testing and put them into a slideshow video with WMG narating.

You can see it – Here.

And this is the little puppy dog that we printed first with supports all cleaned up. This was the test piece whos file was on the supplied microSD card. No painting on of details or anything has been done to it yet.

He’s printed out a lot of things since the new printer has been set up, in addition to the things that have been printed for my crafting – here and here, and Sunday School Nativity puppet show.  He’s been busy the last couple of weeks printing out items to give as Christmas gifts to family members.

Firstly, this …


This was printed using white, black and orange filament from the file “snowman_V3 3 color multipart” by pgraaff.  He’s tried to colour in the “coal” for eyes, mouth and buttons, but the ink ran a bit on the surface of the print.  He’ll need to try and use thicker paint next time I think.

He’s also makeing up lots of Labyrinth Gift Boxes designed by sneakypoo, to give to different family members.

The one on the right is as they will be presented, with both halves put together, the one on the right is the outer part and the middle one is the inner one with the labyrinth/maze.

This is a closer look at the inner part.

And this is the inside of the outer part – you can just make out the blob inside the top edge that is worked along the channels of the inner part to close and open the box.

I’m very impressed with how accurate the printer is, because if it wasn’t acurate then the two parts of a printout such as these labyrinth boxes wouldn’t go together so perfectly.

And then there’s this tray of pieces which he tells me will make a Servo Arm.  The file he used was EEZYbotARM MK2 by daGHIZmo.

Hopefully I’ll get back with everything constructed.  He needs to collect all the non-3D printed parts (screws, servos, etc.) before he can do the construction, and he recons it might be well into the new year before he’s able to do that.

I expect that a lot more 3D printed items will find their way into my crafting before I get to come back with photos of the Servo Arm completed.

Keep an eye out for more posts from me over the holiday period.  I do have more photos of my own crafting to crop and upload, so you can expect something posted in the next few days.


You can see my page on Facebook by clicking – here.

You can see the cards I’ve made using design sheets from CUP in my “Crafter Showcase Area” on Craftsuprint.com – here
(Just scroll down past the top boxes to see the cards.)

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