I bought a 3D printer! It’s a FlashForge Finder, a fully pre-assembled personal-use model that is currently Amazon’s Choice and a leader in the reviews. The box arrived on Tuesday and it proved simple to set up. I clipped a few ties, added the spool and fed it through the provided tubing, then I turned it on. After a 5 minute leveling exercise I was up and printing.
Subsequent reading has taught me to use a glue-stick on the printing area before starting a print. I run the whole removable board under hot water for 5 minutes after completion and the prints slide right off. Wipe everything clean and you’re ready to go again.
So far I’ve been working on progressively more challenging projects on Thingiverse. At first I made a text box, then some extra parts and accessories for the printer itself. Now I’m making fully articulated toys for my son and desk accessories for the office. Later this weekend I’ll try my hand at designing and printing my own custom models.
Overall 3D printing feels similar to electronics work. It looks impressive but in reality it’s all incredibly simple. Once you have the hardware there’s very little limitations other than time and your imagination. The hobby isn’t expensive once you get the printer itself. For the amount of material you can print from a single spool of filament you could easily make a profit from the sale of a few items or net savings from items you didn’t have to buy for home repairs.
If you’ve been thinking of getting into 3D printing, don’t have any fear. Pick up this printer or one like it and just have fun. There’s nothing to it.