Category Archives: 3D Printing

The Prusa 3D Printing EXPERIENCE

I’ve done my share of 3D printing with various printers.  I have hand built a Rep-Rap kit, and owned an M3D cube printer.

But nothing compares to the Prusa EXPERIENCE.

What do I mean by that?

Well, I built that Rep-Rap kit which was just an awful experience.  After I got it built it was probably a week before I actually extruded any material with it.  My heart leapt with joy when I saw some plastic ooze out of the nozzle.  Then it took another day or two of tweaking to make a print that wasn’t horrific.   The EXPERIENCE I gained was invaluable but the EXPERIENCE itself was horrific.

Once I got the Rep-Rap going I began upgrading everything on it.  Also gained tons of EXPERIENCE but again the EXPERIENCE itself was fraught with frustration and trial and error.

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3D Printers – Prusa i3 MK3S+

Modified Rep-Rap 3D Printer

I have been 3D Printing for maybe 5 years now.   I’m not a drop dead, full on expert, but I have learned a few things. I honestly believe the best way to break into 3D printing is to buy and build a cheap Rep-Rap machine and upgrade.  Go through all the trials and tribulations and then get into the higher end machines.

One thing is for certain.  Your printer will break, or clog or something…….and then you’ll have no earthly idea what to do when that happens.

That is how I got my start.  I found a place called RepRapGuru (which I think is out of business now) and bought a $200 printer.  After I built it and got it printing which was no easy feat, I did a boatload of research and found out that upgrading certain components would increase my quality considerably.  So I did just that.  Instead of threaded rod for the Z axis to go up and down on, I got proper lead screws.  Instead of the cheap Chinese hotend I put an E3D-V6 hotend on it.  Then I changed the extruder to a compact Bowden, then I reprinted most of the parts, and on and on it went.  All of these changes made me go inside the firmware and change THINGS…..an invaluable skill……..I still have this printer and believe me, it works GREAT.

But it was a toy that I made into “Not A Toy”.  It was time to move on.  Research on 3D printing more or less revealed that the best company out there was Prusa Research by Josef Prusa.  Just like Bill Gates is the Huckleberry of Windows and Linus Torvalds is the Huckleberry of Linux…….Josef Prusa is the Huckleberry of 3D printing.   As a consumer, maybe even a long time  consumer and user of Prusa printers I have to state that the company has really evolved into something special in a way that most companies will never do.

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3D Printed Back Load Horn Speaker Project

Back Load Horn 3D Printed Speakers

I have a 3D printer.  Well, actually 3, but who is counting?  The other night I saw a new project upload on Thingiverse for a Back Load Horn Speaker.  It was so cool and I knew I had to try it.  And besides, I had an actual need as I had just purchased a Uniden SDS200 Police Scanner and it had a little internal speaker that was mounted on the bottom of the case.   It screamed for a powered, external speaker.   Win, win.

The first thing I’d like to say about the project is I didn’t quite need all the bells and whistles the designer did.  He set his up as bluetooth speakers and that is darn cool, no doubt.  I just didn’t need to do that.  I just needed a powered external speaker.

 

The back panel is designed for a stereo amp board which the developer lists a source in China that costs a few bucks.   The exact same board can be had on Amazon for about $14.  Getting 2 day delivery is worth it to me.  The parts from China probably wouldn’t show for weeks.

Anyway before you build and wire these you kind of need to know how you are going to deploy them.  Let me elaborate.

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Compact Bowden

Old Info on my 3D printer build and configuration that I thought I lost.  Found it on the Internet Archive WayBack Machine and preserving it here for my future use.

Compact Bowden Extruder on RepRap Prusa i3 with MK8 Gear.

I had previously built a Compact Bowden extruder for my RepRap Prusa i3, 3D printer that utilized a plain insert filament drive gear. I built it from parts from my stock extruder.
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After a bit of research I determined I wanted to go the route of the MK8 hobbed gear. Why change something that works fine? Because I can. I got mine here.

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RepRap Printer

NOTE:  I lost this page somewhere along the line and found it on the Internet Archive WayBack Machine.  Just saving it for posterity.

RepRap 3D Printer

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Did you ever look at the price of a good quality 3D printer and think “I wish I had one, but that’s too expensive”?

Well it’s not as bad as you might think. An Open Source Community has sprung up around 3D printers called RepRap. The whole point being the printer is self replicating meaning you can print a new printer from your printer. (That boggles the mind, huh?) A decent RepRap kit will only set you back about $300 or $400. That’s not so bad?

This is kind of a quick glimpse into my 3D printing journey so far and where I’m taking it.

First of all there are literally dozens of RepRap variations. I figured at least initially I better stick with the one that is well documented and common. After some research I settled on a version called the Prusa i3 and more specifically the RepRapGuru Kit of the Prusa i3.

I actually found the same guy selling the same kits on eBay with a “Best Offer” button and offered a little bit less than the Amazon price and he agreed. And so it begins.

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