Prusa i3 MK2S Kit

So I started down the 3d printing hole over a year ago and in that time I have in some ways reached my original goal of being able to learn how to design 3d parts and later use them around the office and house. In that time I spent a lot of time with Delta style printers, having the chance to check out both the SeeMeCNC Eris and their Rostock MAX v3 as they launched. This only made me more curious about other printers, especially Cartesian style printers. Cartesian printers are by far the most popular style and are more what you expect to see what you think of a 3d printer. Well, earlier this year I had the chance to meet and talk with Josef Prusa and later through email, we arranged for a printer to come our way. For the last few months, I have had the Prusa i3 MK2 here in the office as I worked on projects (a few that you guys have seen me post about) getting a feel for the printer. Well, it’s about time that I sit down and gather my thoughts on the printer and run through my experience building, troubleshooting, and making with the i3 MK2.

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Visiting SeeMeCNC's new facility

If you have been following my journey through 3d printing you may have seen my visit to SeeMeCNC last year. What you might not have noticed was just how packed they were in their location at the time. In talking to them through a few product launches they had also expressed their interest in moving to a larger location and at one point they even bought the land and were working on plans to build a new building. Well a few months ago I saw the notifications on their personal FB pages about a new building they bought and I scoped it out a little on Google Maps. Well, I waited a little while after their move and checked in to see how the move was going and they invited us to come check it out. Let me just say that the satellite images did not prepare me for just how crazy the new location is. I took a few photos that don’t do it nearly enough justice, so let's do a quick update on my original tour.

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Functional Prints: Solar Light Peg

In the past year I have been having a blast with 3d printing in my free time. This past week I ran into a situation that printing helped me out and I thought I would take a few minutes to tell everyone about it. I was outside installing a new flag mount to our porch and moving our flag and when I went to move the cheap solar light that keeps the flag lit up at night I had trouble reinstalling it into the ground. The peg started making cracking noises and then broke. I didn’t want to have to buy a new light and If I didn’t keep our flag lit at night (I’m far too lazy to bring it in each day) it would be against the US flag code. So I brought a small piece of the broken peg inside to look at my options.

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Building and 3d printing a Nixie FunKlock

A few years ago when I first replaced my desk I wanted to add a clock to the office to keep track of time better. I didn’t want something normal and went with a retro looking flip clock. The flip design was something I always liked but the model that I picked up didn’t fit well under my monitors and later the noise from the motor, not the actual flip started to drive me crazy. After that, I kept looking for something to replace it with but never found what I was looking for. Then about 6 months ago I came across Nixie tube clocks and fell in love. The prices though were just too much. I decided to build my own using a kit I found online and printing the outside components. The hardware came in during the Intel launch and this past weekend I set aside the time to start working it.

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Midwest RepRap Festival

Well, this weekend I took a break from playing Ghost Recon Wildlands and made the trip over to Indiana to check out Midwest RepRap Festival. While the name most likely isn’t obvious to most people, but RepRap is the community around 3d printing. So unlike Maker Fairs where 3d printing is also very popular, this time the entire event is exclusively focused on it. This event started off as a small get together of friends in a garage and is quickly growing out of control. A few of the big names in 3d printing were there and we have the chance to stop and talk with a few people. We also brought the camera along so I figured I would make a quick post to share what we saw.

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Simplify3D

For over 7 months of printing on the SeeMeCNC Eris’ and the Rostock MAX v3, I have been using the suggested software MatterControl. Setup was easy because they work directly with SeeMeCNC and it had the profiles for both printers. Beyond that, it was easy to use, but over time I started to notice more and more limitations and I was really curious what else was out there. Well, one of the more popular programs for handling most 3d printers is called Simplify3D. They happened to be based out of Ohio like we are, so I reached out and they send over a copy and I have been testing it alongside my testing of the Rostock MAX v3. So today I’m going to dive in and check out what their software is all about.

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SeeMeCNC Rostock MAX v3

Most of you know the saying “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”. Well when it comes to trinkets and other cool stuff, 3d printers are the same. You Can buy small items or you can print your own cool stuff. Early this year I did just that. I covered SeeMeCNC’s new at the time Eris and even well past my coverage I had one and then later two printers running all of the time in the office. I was having a blast but I really needed to go BIGGER. Well, a few months ago they sent over their new v3 model of their Rostock MAX, the big guy. With vacation and everything it took me a little while to get going, but I have been running the printer for a long time now and it’s about time I sit down and tell everyone about my experience with SeeMeCNC’s new printer. You might want to get comfortable, this might be a long one. 

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SeeMeCNC Eris

So yesterday I did a relatively short rundown on what is 3d printing and I also spoke about my visit with SeeMeCNC. Well today I’m actually going to dive into the SeeMeCNC Eris 3d printer that I picked up when I was visiting them. The Eris is their brand new portable delta printer. Not only is easy to carry, but they set out to make the Eris their first truly out of the box and printing experience. Generally, with most 3d printers you have a lot of build and setup time, but with the Eris shipping completely built and with their new Auto Leveling system they are hoping it will be a great printer for new 3d printing users. Well it just so happens, I’m that 3d printing noob, so I’m going to run you guys/girls through my experience from start to finish to help you decide if the Eris is the printer for you.

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SeeMeCNC visit and 3d printing rundown

It’s a combination of the kid in me and the maker in me but getting a 3D Printer has been on my short list of things I want to get for years now. I’ve spent a lot of time with things like my plotter designing and making my own stickers as needed. Frankly though 3d printer always felt a little unobtainable both because of the cost and because it seemed like you might need an engineering degree to build and maintain one. Well a few months ago my interest was renewed and I decided that I was going to get one and from then on I spent day and night learning as much as I can, reading anything and everything. I had a few printers in mind but couldn’t decide. One of the companies I was keeping a close eye on was SeeMeCNC, they had been involved with printers for custom PC builds with DarthBeavis, on the Vanilla Ice Project, and even involved with PDXLAN. The problem was for my first printer at least; I wasn’t really looking for a build it yourself kit. I feel capable of doing that, but I just really wanted to dive into it quickly rather than a long build time prior. The other problem was even in the kit form their printers were a bit higher than I was budgeting. Well when looking at them I found out that they are actually within a drive away and I reached out about visiting. It just so happened that they were also introducing their long awaited Eris, a smaller, cheaper, and more portable model that comes factory build. I went and visited their factory and picked up the first Eris and have been getting a feel for it all. Today I’m going to give a quick run through on what 3d printing is all about, go over my visit with SeeMeCNC, then tomorrow I will dive into the Eris and my overall experience with it.

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