How long does the initial fascination with 3D

Thread Starter

geekoftheweek

Joined Oct 6, 2013
885
I meant to ask how long does the initial fascination with 3D printing last?

A little over a week ago I ordered a 3D printer to tinker with and make some of my projects a little more appealing to the eye. After putting it together I sat mesmerized for about three hours watching a few test objects print.

Finally after a week of figuring out FreeCAD, setting up Wine so I can install and run the slicer on Linux, and about three hours researching and tweaking settings I have finally made something. First thing was a flat 1mm thick square with different sized holes to measure and get an idea of tolerances along with finding what diameter I will need for some screws. Next came a 1mm thick template for a TFT bezel for a finishing touch on a project. It only took four tries at three hours each to get the first template right. I found a trick yesterday which cut it down to an hour. Now as I write this I am rolling back and forth between the computer and the printer just watching it work on the final draft.

I think over the last four days I've spent probably 12 - 14 hours just watching the printer move along stacking tiny lines into a finished object. Luckily my need to take care of basic household things is starting to kick in and so I have managed to pull myself away and get a few other things accomplished. I figured after a little experience with CNC mills at one time and several years of turning raw plastic pellets into bottles that this little gadget wouldn't hold my attention like it does.

So how long does the fascination last? Did I set myself on a path to addiction of printing things? Was it a bad idea to order four rolls of filament also?
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
27,144
It never goes away!

There are times when I will watch the 3D printer do its magic for about 5 minutes. Usually I check on the progress of the printing to make sure that there are no mishaps. Recently I had a 16-hour print job and it failed in the 15th hour.

Obviously you don't want to spend 16 hours babysitting a machine. You just have to learn to pull yourself away.

I have 10 rolls of filament sitting on the shelf. Is that excessive?:D
 

MrSalts

Joined Apr 2, 2020
2,376
The fascination does fade. It eventually becomes like hitting a golf ball - you reallize you don't have to pull your head up to watch the ball fly towards the hole. You'll soon realize that physics really works and you can keep your head down and the ball will fly towards the hole even if you don't pull your head up to watch it. You'll eventually learn that that 3D printing also works when you don't watch.
 

Thread Starter

geekoftheweek

Joined Oct 6, 2013
885
I have 10 rolls of filament sitting on the shelf. Is that excessive?
I wouldn't call it excessive. I stopped at four because I really only need two to start, one for a future project, and one to practice with. The budget also said it was good enough (for now...)
16 hours is a bit more than I want to commit to at the moment. Losing a project after 15 hours would be enough to cause a slight irritation.

You'll eventually learn that that 3D printing also works when you don't watch.
I'm getting a bit more confident with it which helps a lot. There was a fair amount of hiccups the first couple days.

I think the fascination with the printer will fade, but I don't think the fascination with the products ever will.
I can guarantee the printer will die before I run out of ideas!! The TFT bezel sounded simple enough to start with...

There was actually a lot more of a learning curve than I anticipated. After poking around the internet on lunch last night I figured out what the infill setting is for... now to try to draw a hollow bezel instead of drawing the infill pattern. I have a feeling tonight is the night it will finally turn out right!!
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
27,144
Sitting on the shelf I have white, black, gray, silver, red, blue, transparent, white ABS, wood, flexible, and some other rolls I don't remember what they are, plus one on the machine.
 

Thread Starter

geekoftheweek

Joined Oct 6, 2013
885
White, transparent, black, and orange. If I can get enough light to pass through some thin white (some experimenting there to be done) it may work for a few things the transparent roll is for.

Another video later and I learned a bit more. I reloaded the slicer and scrolled through the layers. The infill pattern is already there without redrawing. I was thinking it would be solid all the way through. Now to radius the edges and set the printer in motion. I'll have to distract myself somehow. The slicer estimates five hours now without the final details.
 

Thread Starter

geekoftheweek

Joined Oct 6, 2013
885
@MrChips I found the fillet tool, but it puts a 180 degree radius on the surface on FreeCAD. I only wanted a 90 degree on the top and leave the bottom flat. I found a way to do it. I must have started over 100 times since the beginning figuring out how it all works and what order I needed to do things. I think I learned enough to make the next project way easier.

Thought I'd throw on a picture for kicks. It's not perfect, but it works for now. I still have a lot to learn and will sooner or later perfect it. The pimples in the corners are from lack of making sure the screws weren't too long. Lesson learned.

bezel.jpg
 
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