I recently picked up a mini 3D printer made by M3D.com because I wanted to channel my inner-maker and see what it was like to dabble in 3D printing, but I didn’t want to spend the $1k-$2k or more for trying out something that I might not like.
This particular printer has a capability of printing objects up to 5.9″ x 5.9″ x 5.9″ in both PLA and ABS. It is not the fastest printer out there, but with a little patience and sub $400 prices, I was willing to give it a try.
After unpacking the printer and settling on the white filament for my first dive into 3D printing, I looked for something that was simple, small, and easy to print. I picked a flop-eared bunny for one of my daughters for Easter. I pulled this 3D model from a well-stocked source of 3D models called Thingiverse.
It was easy to get the printer up-n-running. Here is a sequence of photos during the 4-hour process with the final image being the bunny with all raft and supports removed.
Now that I got thru my first successful 3D print. I started thinking more of what can I print that might be practical and useful? I know I have always wanted something to keep my charging cords from falling behind a desk or nightstand, so you can print these:
And how about a nice custom case for that new Raspberry Pi you recently got? Or custom printing some other little project box?
There are many helpful projects you can print that already exist on the Internet and many colors to choose from. Want to strike out on your own and brew your own custom widget? Here is a chance to learn 3D modeling and there a quite a few freeware versions of software to choose from. I recommend going to a site like 3D Printing for Beginners for starters. There appears to be quite a bit of info on this site to keep you busy in learning about 3D printing.
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