The Builds Are Coming! The Builds Are Coming!

A Printer Assembly Companion!

In November, we will roll-out a series of 3D printer and CNC machine assembly “Companions.”

After looking over approaches to assembly and test prints, it becomes evident there are two main approaches.

The first is videos (you can see them in the Video tab above).

The second track is by reading absolutely incomprehensible assembly instructions that comes with many printers and CNC machines.  Or buy a bunch of 3DP books on Kindle.

Our in-house review confirmed what we already knew:  Namely that 3D printer assembly videos are the shortest “straight line” to getting the printer built.

What they don’t do, however, is explain the details – more easily learned along the way while parts are in your hands – as to WHY you are doing certain things in the build process.  Then, in turn, how this relates to running prints.

We hope to get Build Companion 1-a  written in the next week.  We’ll be doing the same actual steps in our shop – making notes as we go – to ensure you get as good a “hand-in-glove” experience with the build videos as possible.

Complexity and Recipes

At the highest level, build videos and “build companions” aren’t strictly necessary.  Complexity makes them useful, though.

Let’s mentally roll back to building a “home” in the old day.  Wasn’t too hard to figure out.  The parts were BIG and the cutting, assembly and nailing processes were easy to learn.

When you get into 3D printing, though, complexity rears its head.  You need to consider an overall plan for what 3DP can bring to your life.  That will be the topic on Build Companion 1-a!

The “get started” parts – long before the printer arrives – include skills to find, download, or originate designs.

Then you’re not even to the half-way point.

You don’t just download a design and hit Print.

Designed must be “sliced” into “layers” that your printer can handle.  Printing involves a print-head squirting out hot liquid plastic – sequentially in layers (and atop one-another).  As they cool and bond into the layer below, the print is made.

While the Basic Build is easy, there’s a ton background material to be learned.  It’s about settings, temperature, and much more.  Adjustments like “bed leveling” are critical skills.  And Tweaks – there’s a ton of ’em.

When the print is done, how do you assess its quality?  And then – most important of all – what can be done about it  to improve things?

There is the basic idea:  We advocate an approach to printer assembly that is as “failure-free” as we can make it, short of knocking on your door and hand-holding through it.

With my vocational educator hat on, this is “Learning by doing” method:  Something the student (all of us) can “engage” at our own speed and drilling down to any desired level of detail.

Our Builds will – by their nature – take  perhaps twice as long to complete compared to a slap-dash video.  That’s because we look at foundational learning that is often assumed but not present.  Things everyone knows by age 30 is off in Mystic Land if you’re just 12.

With a Companion, you will (hopefully!) learn useful additional material making the Build more enjoyable. In this manner, you train for success and pick up deep knowledge along the way.

Which might make you even more successful in the future…

Comments always welcome,