First experience with a 3D Printer

January 20, 2019

I started off 2019 by buying a 3D Printer off Amazon in order to do R&D for a new venture. 3D printing has always fascinated me. I remember watching movies like The Fifth Element (1997) where they showcase bio-printing to actually create a human being or should I say: Supreme Being of the Universe. This is not futuristic anymore! It’s actually being done today. But let’s take a step back. With a 3D printer you can basically print anything you need right at your home. So, I was really excited to test the 3D Printer and see what results I can achieve.

The 3D Printer

Da Vinci nano

Cool looking right? I found the da Vinci nano on a list to be the best budget 3D printer for 2019. This printer is available on Amazon for only 225€ (I actually had no Idea that they’ve become so cheap already) and this printer comes completely assembled, so there is no need for a technical background. You take this out of the box, connect it to the power outlet and to your computer, download the Software (macOS & windows available) and you’re ready to go. The printer comes with one filament of PLA which is a biodegradable plastic and is used to print the 3D models.

My first 3D print

XBox Controller Stand

XBox Controller on Stand

The first print was a stand for my brothers Xbox One Controller that I found on the printers website for 3D models to print. I did not know though that the first model I chose to print was going to be the biggest of my first prints. This model took 7 hours to finish. It took forever, so I actually went to sleep and woke up the next morning to finally check out my first 3D print. I was amazed! I did not expect such high quality from a budeget printer and it was doing its job of holding a Xbox One Controller.

More 3D prints

Print in Progress

Print almost Finished

I couldn’t wait to print more. I found the website thingiverse.com, a community for discovering, making, and sharing 3D printable things. I like to print useful things, so I decided my next print is gonna be a bag clip. It’s just amazing to see the printer work, especially how it creates the woven structure on the inside for stability. I literally came back every 10 minutes just to check the progress of the printer. This print only took about 3 hours and it was time to test the result. Taking off the prints from the printer bed turned out quite difficult as it sticks to the ground. The printer comes with a spatula, but you gotta be careful to not damage the print. When I finally removed the print from the printer bed, I was again amazed by the great quality. The bag clip actually worked as if I had bought one from the store. Check out my Instagram post for videos.

What’s next?

More 3D prints! My plan is to download more models from the internet to test the limits of this printer and work with different colors PLA, but also try out PETG which is stronger and offers more impact resistance. Next to that, I’m gonna create some models on my own to print. I bought a 3D Scanner with the 3D Printer and am excited to test out the 3D Scanner with the 3D Printer.

Mike Koene

Written by Mike Koene who lives and works in Amsterdam building things. Follow me on Twitter