3D Printer Setup – Learn from my mistakes!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything… Since being in the new house, tinkering with my 3D printer has absorbed roughly 75% of my free time. Although I got my printer and kit-form (with oh-so-useful hidden instructions written in Chinese), I was fully expecting some work to be involved. But I wasn’t expecting the learning curve I found! See these failed test prints…

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3D printing is a wonderful and interesting new technology, but it is not consumer-ready by any stretch of the imagination. If you decide to invest in a 3D printer, prepare to learn everything about how it works. And if you’re not willing to spend many hours tweaking, learning, and failing repeatedly, I recommend not buying a printer. Just order 3D printed objects from a maker online if you desperately need something.

I faced several issues on my journey to reliable prints (and they could still be improved), but below you’ll find my essential setup tips.

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3D Printer Build

I’m finally somewhat settled in the new house, and have simultaneously had the time, space, and motivation to build my Prusa i3 clone!

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This is the built printer, before managing cables (not the zip ties in the corner). The build was slow going, as there was no instruction pamphlet in the box, and being a no-name Shenzhen factory special, I had no model name or site to visit. It is similar to many documented kits, but not identical. As I was winging-it during construction, there were times I had to go backwards and rebuild when I’d missed something…

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Zelda Custom Gameboy

For a very close friends birthday, I wanted to do something special. As I’d already modified a few gameboys by this point I thought I’d up my game in that department. He is a massive Zelda fanboy, who’d preordered both the limited edition Zelda 3DS (based on Ocarina of Time), and the limited edition Zelda Wii U (based on Wind Waker), I thought he’d appreciate a DMG gameboy done in the style of Link’s Awakening.

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Links Awakening Limited Edition DMG

He’s not into making chiptune, so I didn’t bother putting in a line-out or any other such hardware. But I did custom decals on a new shell, matching buttons, and a backlight. And it came out looking great! His face when he opened it (along with a copy of Link’s Awakening) was worth all the time I put into it.

After the jump there are some pics of what the official limited edition 3DS & Wii U look like. I think I copied the basic design ideas pretty well. Let me know in the comments!

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TMNT Gameboy Mods

As you may tell from my album, I quite like the “chip” sound. With that in mind, I got quite interested in legitimate chiptune creation, and not only got a hold of LSDJ, I also started modifying gameboys for this very purpose. And I set forth creating some music-making equipment themed around the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

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Michelangelo in all his glory!

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