I have been thinking about 3D printing for a long time. A few years ago I supported a project on Kickstarter, but unfortunately that project has ended. On Tweakers.net I saw that the Creality Ender 3 v2 is often recommended to people who want to start with 3D printing, mainly because there is a large community behind it. And this 2nd version has a number of optimizations compared to the Ender 3.
At first I wanted to buy a new Ender 3 v2, but I happened to see an upgraded version for sale on the Vraag & Aanbod on Tweakers. This printer has a steel Redrex extruder & hot end and the mainboard is the new v4.2.7 version. There were also two BLtouch sensors for automatic leveling of the print bed, but unfortunately they turned out to be for the old version of the mainboard.
There are a number of YouTube channels I follow to learn how to make better prints and upgrade my printer:
Download 3D objects and draw them yourself
Thingiverse contains many 3D objects of which you can download the STL files for printing. Actually, you can’t think of it that crazy or someone has uploaded an object for it. And if it’s not exactly to your liking, you can also remix an existing object. I mainly draw 3D objects myself in Tinkercad, a free online drawing program. I also tried Fusion 360, but that learning curve was just a bit too steep for me.
After you have downloaded an STL file you need to slice it. This means that the slice software converts the object layer by layer into print coordinates that your 3D printer can follow. For slicing I use Cura from Ultimaker. They also make 3D printers themselves, but you can use this slicer for (almost) any 3D printer. I use CHEP’s Ender 3 v2 profiles to get the best prints.
What have I printed so far?
Of course I tried some things and mainly printed upgrades for my 3D printer. But also things to increase the WAF.
Because my 3D printer is in the garage, I thought it would be useful to be able to follow it remotely. I don’t plan to have the printer print when I’m not at home or at night, but it’s still handy to see if the printing is going well. So I connected a Raspberry Pi to the printer and installed OctoPrint. OctoPrint is an open-source project that connects to your 3D printer via a USB cable and then displays data as temperature in a graph. But you can also connect a camera to follow the print. With OctoLapse you can even create timelapses of your print. In addition to the OctoLapse plugin, I have a number of plugins to keep track of how much filament I use.