To speed up our prototyping, I just bought a 3D printer, the Printbot Plus v2. It was a fun build, like a grownup’s Lego set, taking only 20hrs to build. In building it, though, I learned a lot about their design, and it’s advantages and pitfalls.
One mechanical hiccup was that some holes did not quite match up. To fix it, I spent a little time with a small file, which cut the birch wood easily. I also had to disassemble and reassemble a few sub-assemblies to fix little mistakes. Unfortunately, the online tutorial needs to be updated for the new version of the printer, since there are some minor mismatches between the parts I got and the instructions. It was a bit tedious to scan through, but I added a bunch of comments along the way to help lost builders.
My first print was a very anti-climactic due to a pause at the “wait for extruder temperature” notification. Finally, after tinkering with the G-code, it warmed up and printed my first part! In honor of Shark Week, we printed Mr. Shark from Thingiverse. After a bit of tuning, our team was quite surprised at the quality of the print. It rivaled the print quality of the more expensive CubeX, which we have worked with before. Since then, we’ve been printing small sculptures, models, and eventually another 3D printer.