About a week ago I decided to tackle a project I’ve been thinking about for a while. I have a beautiful glass tabletop and thought it would be fun to 3D print a base for it.
Fun?! I like to go into a project thinking positively, but maybe that just set me up ….
Anyway, the first day of what would be a 5-day print went fine. It was when I had to change out the 5-pound spool of PLA filament on my 8-foot-tall Cerberus 3D Gigante 3D printer that things went terribly wrong.
The print paused normally, then I switched out the spool of natural filament and loaded up the new spool. When I tried to resume the print, though, everything went haywire. The printhead swung wildly out of position, and the print was lost.
I was ready to pull my hair out! A whole $100 spool of filament and a day of 3D printing had been lost. Not to mention the frayed nerves.
Then Steve Graber, the man who built the Gigante, told me about the switch ….
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When 3D printers were first developed, they were called “rapid prototypers.” (As we’ve discussed before, “rapid” is relative.) In addition to creating original sculpture (you can see my latest here), I do use my 3D printers for protyping.
Sometimes a prospective customer just can’t visualize a piece, and sometimes I just want to see how a form comes together or balances before I either create a full-scale 3D printed sculpture or a metal version.
For prototypes, I usually use my Cerberus 3D 250, which is a desktop 3D printer. Lately, though, it’s been starting to print fine, then stops extruding before the print is done ….
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