Fun with printers!

For last three days i’m playing with a new toy -> 3d printer. 3,5 yo chinese Ender 3 printer. But hey – after cleaning, doing some maintenance its working like it was new. But I had few issues that i want to share with you. And with me in future:

Cleaning is important

First of all – if you want to use old/used/etc printer -> clean it from beggining to the end. Everything. Its much easier if you will take it as a blessed true. Just take some time, redo everything in a printer. Disassembly it, clean, put oil where it should be, wipe where it should be wiped… etc. just make yourself a „brand new” feeling for first prints

Everybody lie

This device is old, used… just check it. If temperature sensors says 200 or 90 or …anything else – take second probe and check it. You should have a temperature probe in a kitchen as it is often used while cooking. Just check if the difference is not big.

I would also say to check about EndStop sensors but if you are redoing whole printer then you should also re position your endstops.

Update

If you had any software – slicer, 3d cad, printer software, octoprint, octopi… just update everything before you start – you wont loose time to reconfigure anything after update, and you wont find any tutorials using functionalities that you dont have because where added in newer version.

Fix and change

If you see anything that would require fixing or changing in short future… do it now. „This belt looks nasty”, „I dont know how old is this nozzle”, „these cables are routed stupid”… just do it now. Before you start. Make your life easier in next weeks. You will want to PRINT in next days, today you are playing with printer. Do the best you can.

First prints

Just spend some time for your own mental health and print temperature tower. One for each owned filament. In high range of temps. And yes – i just discovered that my cheap filament has the best results in 215*C while on box was info „190-210” so give yourself a chance and make it. Its much easier to spend this time ONCE to check each filament bests.

Remote view

OctoPrint with Raspberry Pi and camera or webcam, or just IP Camera… doesnt matter – its best to not leave your printer unattended. So at least having an option to see it remotely and powercut using some smart plug or sth like that is (for me) a must have. Having loud printer in the room where you live/work is a nightmare, but if you just put it in the kitchen/other room/etc then you have to control it remotely (even if you are at home).

And here – software like octoprint with also possibility to remote run prints is great, as it removes necessarity of moving this stupid, small, sd card, there and back.

Whats next?

You have clean, well maintained, printer. Updated, configured, with your best temperature configurations for all owned filaments. Now you can just play with 3d software, makers websites and projects, and print, and learn to modeling and have fun without being upset that printer is doing something that you cannot understand.

Have fun!