3D Printing Is Not For Me

I have been curious about 3D printers for some time but the cost did not justify to quench my curiousity. Recently, the Creality Ender 3 Pro went on sale for $199.99 at Micro Center. I decided to pick one up and some PLA filament. The first print I tried is the dog demo that came with the printer.

At first, things were looking good. The first couple of layers look rough but I thought it was fine and it’ll straighten out. This print is supposed to take about 5 hours. More than halfway through it fell apart.

I should have leveled the bed

As you can see the first few layers were all over the place. The bed should have been leveld. The print failed because the level was off. Not sure why it took that long.

I downloaded a file to help level the bed and started to print the dog again. Another failed attempt.

The filament spool got tangled

This time the filament spool got tangled up. This was the starter spool. Instead of running into the issue again, I opened a new spool – one of the 1 kg spools I bought.

Okay, attempt number 3 on the dog. This time the nozzle got clogged after 2 hours of printing.

I am striking out with all these attempts. I took it apart, which was a good exercise. It helped me get more familiar with the printer. Cleaning wasn’t too difficult, just time consuming. I cleaned out the filament and put the printer back together. Here we go, attempt 4.

Success!

I finally got a successful print. It took several tries and many hours of waiting. Long filaments but the cost isn’t that bad. It’s mainly the time and power consumption. Even with this print, there is a stain on the right leg – may have been due to excessive heat/burn during the print. I was pretty excited to finally get one print done so I printed another and it completed without any issues.

The one I tried is the pig demo. It came out fine. This was a long print – around 6 hours. I am getting the hang of it and tried to print a knob for the printer. It failed a few times but finally printed correctly. Next was the cat demo. This failed. After that failure, I decided that 3D printing is not for me.

Just some of the failed attempts
Successful attempts

After some thing, I decided to return the printer before the return period expires. I just can’t get the hang of it. You invest a lot of time and electricity and from my experience, it gave me a low success rate. I also found many 3D printed items being sold on Etsy.

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