Tips for someone new to 3d printing

What would you say the top 5 things are to look out for when you first get into 3d printing?

If you were to think back to when you got started what are some of the things to consider before taking the jump?

What would you do differently if you had a chance to rewind time?

I’m not sure if its something I did wrong, but something I’m happy I did right.

I spent a long time assembling my printer (like 2-3 hours). I did it slowly and carefully to make sure everything was properly tight and square before I turned it on.
Once I got ready to print, I did a lot of test prints. A lot of bed level tests, temperature towers, retraction tests. I never printed a benchy.
These exercises, while not exciting, resulted in me having a better understanding of how my printer functioned and what it could do, and how cura worked.

Aside from a funny problem that I would never have guessed in a thousand test runs, the end result has been reasonably successful prints that I’m really happy with.

So that would be my recommendation - these things need some attention and tuning, and it’s worth taking time up front to get the printer set correctly before trying to print something real.

One mistake I made as a beginner (still am one), was that I was using an exacto knife to clean off the plastic on my nozzle tip. I was good for a while, then one day after cleaning, I proceeded to print something and it started right off the bat printing in mid air about a few mm off the table. So I adjusted my z offset and tried again, now my first layer would not stick for most of the skirt. Suddenly I couldn’t print anything… ended up that I inadvertently cut off the tip of my brass nozzle. Did not realize it was that easy to cut. So moral of story is keep those knives away from your nozzles. Hope this helps!

Find a printer with a good base group. I got lucky-unlucky-lucky with my first printer.

The community is awesome, and has helped alot, Though my printer is not commonly known.

Also find out why your getting into this. Is it to be a tool to make parts with, prototype, toys, or just a curiosity? For me it was a curiosity, and it’s been alot of fun.

If I could go back, i’m not really sure what i would ahve done differently. I did want an ender 3 off the bat, but i’m glad i didnt beacuse ive had to learn with what ive got. Luckily ender 3 mods mostly work with my printer too :D. I also wanted a Prusa (at the time i didnt know about the mini) the thing is it is a great machien, but it’s a bit pricey. Having the few hickups ive had with mine has made me more confident getting any other printer to work… most other printers… dont buy a Silhouette Alta as your first printer.

I guess the only thing i do regret is not having a print bed big enough to print a helmet in one piece. It’s not the end of the world, and i’m happy with the size of my printer otherwise. It’s not like ive ever really maxed out my buildspace anyway so smaller can be better.

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