Adventures in 3D Printing


This is BYP’s 3D Printer.  It’s the Da Vinci Jr. model by XYZPrinting.

As I write this today, I can say that I love it.

This was not always the case.  Witness the first few prints produced by this contraption:

IMG_6502I’m not sure what these are supposed to be, but whatever it is, they aren’t it.

IMG_6503Spongebob has a bad, bad day.

These prints were produced by our second 3D printer, actually.  The first wouldn’t even print, and was replaced by the manufacturer.  The second took at least two weeks to get properly calibrated, and these prints are just a very small fraction of the total number of bad prints this thing produced.

I gave up on it.  The extruder seemed broken.  That’s the thing the plastic comes out of.  The print head, if you will.  I got a(nother) return label.  I was going to send it back.  We had given up on our attempt at harnessing the power of 3D printing.

The manufacturer agreed to send a return label.  While waiting for it, I decided to print a few more things.  Just for the heck of it.  Then I tried to clean it out again.  And make a few more prints.  And recalibrate it.  And clean it again.

I wish I could tell you what I did to fix it.  I can’t.  I have a few ideas, but zero certainties.  The filament feeder used to make this disturbing “Thunk! Thunk!” sound.  It stopped doing that.  I also think I managed to finally clean the extruder properly.  It only took about twenty tries.

But hey-all’s well that ends well!  One fine day, I decided to try to print this spool thing.  And lo and behold, it printed.  As has everything else ever since.  After a tumultuous beginning, we have fallen in love with the BYP printer.  We’ve started creating our own 3D prints, beginning with extruding prints of our names in Photoshop.  Next we’ll be designing custom iPhone cases, and hopefully, eventually, making miniature figurines of ourselves.

IMG_6505Top Left:  The spool, our first successful print.

Middle:  An example of a 3D-printed name.

Bottom Left: Another example of a 3D-printed name.

Bottom right:  A 3D-printed iPhone 6 case.

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