3D Printing Adventures

It has been forever since I posted.   Life has been happening – first, my we had a vacation in Florida.  Then, my step father died.  Then, my cat died.   And I’ve been trying to catch up ever since.  I’m not caught up yet.

Just before all of that happened, though, I had started playing with a 3D printer.   I left off with almost getting a successful print of a LEGO block.

Since then, an abbreviated list of what I have learned:

PLA is Awesome

It is much, much easier to print larger parts with PLA.    It works very well on the Solidoodle:

  • Brought the extruder temperature down to 175 or so (hint:  watch for signs of oozing as the extruder warms up, and you’ll know what the safe zones are)
  • Print cold on Blue painters tape.  However, for larger prints, they do peel slightly, so its sucked the tape off the printbed before.
  • Print 85C on heated bed.   Sticks VERY well, to the point of ripping Kapton tape off for big prints.
  • PLA holds more heat in, so it stays soft and droopy for longer than ABS.  Thus, adding an external fan (thank you Step Son for giving me your extra fan) cools it down quicker and prevents drooping and lets the layers continue to look crisp.
  • PLA smells better.

The Best Infill was Rectilinear 20%

I did the same print over and over with different types of infill.    The best, most consistent one was rectilinear – which ends up looking like a bunch of squares.  The other fancy ones.. HilbertCurve, OctaSpiral – cool ideas, but very often ended up with unsupported infill layers, which lead to lots of droop and havok on the inside.  



This was partially motivated by large ABS prints lifting all the time, I was trying to figure out “least infill possible”, but in the end, PLA solved that problem.

Home Depot did not carry M3 screws

And thus I had to special order those from Amazon.  This is to get a longer Z-stop screw so that I could clip on a glass plate or other such thing to the print bed.. so that I can prep a plate, rather than prepping a print bed, for a print.   I’ve heard that ABS on Slurry on Glass and PLA on heated glass are awesome.  I still need to get some glass – a friend suggested picture frames.   #pendingExperiment

Printing Models and Finish Them Is Fun

So far, I’ve done two Yoda’s, R2-D2, a Dalek, a Weeping Angel, and a TARDIS.

Camera Uploads

I’ve done some painting with Enamels now;  I have more to learn about Acrylic and base coats #pendingExperiment.


The best part is giving them away (if I don’t want to paint them myself) to other people who would love them and keep them and call them George.

And that’s all the time I have to write for now.    Later!

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One comment on “3D Printing Adventures
  1. 2ID Doc says:

    I’m certain some of your younger followers will not get your Bugs Bunny reference. I’m impressed at all the requests you’ve had, I’m more of a Star Wars fan than a Dr. Who fan (yeah, yeah punch a hole in my geek card) but the work you have done is amazing! I’m looking forward to reading about your future projects. Bill.

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