3D print meeting wrap-up, March 7, 2016

Monday was the first meeting of the ‘3D printing Tinker Group.’ I think it was a roaring success.

I brought my delta and had it running for demonstrations, and we had seven guests who brought a total of 3 printers along.

James brought his in-progress delta, which is almost ready to go. His belts were installed funny, a glance at mine cleared that up; but he decided to reinstall the belts later when he’s comfortably sitting at his own tool bench. He was also annoyed by power-supply noise and is already thinking about a replacement. I think we can look forward to first print very soon. James, please keep us posted! (I’ll send you my switch plate STL separately).

Rosalind, Natalie and Susie brought the Replicator II that Susie’s students use at school. A slightly warped bed seemed to be the culprit here; simply flipping it over and a bit of practice leveling got it going. Their Rep II has a small fan duct that embraces the nozzle. They reported that this duct occasionally slams into the work, either dislodging the work or breaking the duct itself. I recommended simply removing it if it causes trouble again… our Rep II has no such duct, and the fan still cools the work just fine. Susie reported a lot of frustration working with Makerbot support <sigh>. Sorry to hear about that. Please spread the word that we’re here to help.

Enric brought his nice Ultimaker. A walkthrough on bed leveling was all it took to print out a nice high-resolution print. Enric is particularly interested in printing custom cases for his Arduino projects, so if you have any info he’d appreciate it. Enric, I searched Thingiverse for ‘customizable box’ and these two jumped out. Perhaps they’ll give you some ideas.


Two guests, Andrew and Noah were there to learn. We walked through a simple print job on my delta to demonstrate the typical print sequence; fortunately(?) I got a chance to demonstrate how to cancel and reprint when the first layer doesn’t stick!

I had a great time and went away with renewed enthusiasm for my new role as steward.

These devices can be very fussy and unreliable even when everything is working properly. There’s no such thing as ‘plug and play’ no matter what marketing BS you may have read. If you’re new to it all, it’s tough to tell the difference between a device malfunction or simple unfamiliarity with the process. Please spread the word that we’ll be happy to help anyone get his/her printer going.

The ‘tinker group’ meetings specifically target these issues, but feel free to bring your printer to any AMT 3D print meetup. We’ll see what we can do.

-Matt Keveney