I recently bought and assembled a Prusa i3 MK3 kit, and decided to prepare for printing emergencies by printing a full set of replacement parts as soon as the printer was working well.
I’d found, in using my other printer, that even high-quality printed parts do eventually delaminate under stress: after two years, that printer’s X and Y idler supports developed fractures. Because I couldn’t print the replacement parts (and because doing the replacement seemed daunting at the time), I wound up sending that printer to the factory for repairs.
I’ve also seen notes and videos from people recommending a set of replacement parts as a backup, in case you break a part while adjusting or doing maintenance on your printer. Having replacement parts on hand is also a good preparation for helping a 3D printing friend when their printer breaks.
Continue reading Printing replacement parts for your Prusa 3D printer
I used to think that 3D Printer extruder tension – how much pressure the extruder hobbed gear exerts on the filament to move it forward – was a pretty forgiving thing. At one extreme, there’s “so loose the filament doesn’t feed” and on the other, there’s “so tight the extruder motor binds”. I thought everything in between was ok.
My assumption was confirmed each time I read advice on how to tune a misbehaving printer: people rarely mentioned extruder tension.
My recent fight to fix a bad print taught me that incorrect extruder tension can make a huge difference in your print quality after all.
Continue reading Extruder gear tension: the overlooked adjustment
One of the last steps of assembling a Prusa i3 MK3 3d printer is to manually adjust the Z height. As I adjusted my printer’s Z height, I began to wonder what the Z height calibration looked like on my older printer, a Lulzbot Mini. At the same time, I became curious about what size that Lulzbot Mini can print. A simple test print answered both questions.
Continue reading Testing Your 3D Printer’s First Layer Height Calibration
I’ve been interested in the Tracery in Gothic Cathedrals – the delicate patterns in stone walls and windows – for years. In this post, I show you how to design of one type of Gothic ornament, using FreeCAD. You can follow along with the FreeCAD file on Thingiverse, or you can use your favorite CAD application, such as Autodesk Fusion 360.
Continue reading Designing a Gothic Trefoil
Having just spent 24 hours, spread over 4 days, assembling a Prusa I3 MK3 Kit, here are my notes to help you assemble your own kit.
Continue reading Tips for assembling the Prusa I3 MK3 Kit
I often 3D print screw-top parts to replace broken or missing parts. For example, we recently installed media (blackout) shades for our skylights, so we can watch movies when the sun is out. Our family room ceiling is quite high, so the pole and hook designed to open and close the new shades is too short.
Continue reading Designing 3d printed threads to match existing parts
An idea’s been forming in the back of my head for a while: that it should be possible to estimate the amount of 3D filament left on a reel by simply weighing the reel with its filament, and subtracting the reel weight. Sounds simple, no?
Today I realized that it may be possible to modify a printer to give a live estimate of filament left on the currently-mounted reel, by “live weighing” the reel, and knowing the reel weight and filament density.
Continue reading Estimating Remaining 3D Printer Filament
Last month at the Portland OR 3D printing Meetup, someone suggested we should all make our own name badges so Shashi wouldn’t need to bring as many “Hello, My Name Is” paper tags to the Meetups. Game On!
In this post I explain how to make your own, two-color 3D Printed name badge just like mine.
Continue reading Making a 3D Printed Name Badge
I’ve found 3D printing to be perfect for creating replacement parts for the various things that break around the house. Recently I realized that I could make a replacement for the armoire door clip that had been bent beyond recognition over the years. This post details how I designed and tested the 3D printed replacement, including a checklist at the end of this post.
Continue reading Designing a 3D printed cabinet clip replacement