3D Printing: Projects and Learning Curves

Been a while, but I have been banging out all sorts of crap from my 3D printer and I have really been enjoying the ride learning how this thing works (and doesn’t work). I have been learning a lot about different nozzle tips and how they impact extrusion of filament, and then how much of a pain it is to replace a belt when it snaps. Never to get too frustrated with the machine, I have had to walk away a few times and pick it up the next morning, but I always remind myself that it is doing exactly what it is programmed to do, the rest of the parts are just points of failure that need to be maintained. That being said, I am pretty proficient when it comes to managing parts failure on this device now and I am pretty sure I could fix/maintain multiple units if I ever wanted to expand my hobby (still too new to look at another machine).

So, my latest project is something I got myself all hyped up about when I saw the plans on Thingiverse. I won’t go into the exact model details because I wouldn’t want the recipient to read this and spoil the surprise, but needless to say I am super happy with how it is coming out. I am experimenting with Wood PLA filament and my initial results ended in something being launched across the room. Since then I have learned that the nozzle size is vital when using anything beyond standard filament and with that knowledge, I placed an order for a multipack of nozzles (0.2mm-1.0mm).

Receiving the 0.6mm nozzle, I installed it and set to work. Initial results were…painful, but it was still a learning process and after a bit of tinkering and learning I need to use an adhesive for this material, I am underway and making good progress. The filament pack I bought contains 4 different styles of Wood PLA (Bamboo, Ebony, Walnut, Red) and I am looking forward to seeing how each one looks on the finished products.

There is another part of the gift that I am working on that involves using standard PLA to make other pieces and then paint them. I have tested out a couple of them and they look really great (despite one of the builds snapping my Y-axis belt when the nozzle got stuck). No fear on the belt, I now know how to replace it, though it is a serious pain. I am looking into using contrast paint for most of the PLA pieces since I think they will benefit from it most.

In addition to the Game Set, I am also slowly going through painting the Trenchworks that I have made up. I have been in regular contact with the model creator on Thingiverse and we we collaborating on some of the projects. I am currently designing an “over the trench” turret mount that is compatible with the rules in the Mournival Events Battle Manual that was recently released. I plan on building the turret and than additionally making sure there are prints for all of the different weapon options for it. The Vengeance Weapon battery is in a similar situation, though I am just working on a solid weapon base so that I can build it out and setup the various weapons on that one mount for ease of use.

I promise I will have pictures of the Gaming Set once it is completed, or at least individual parts so that I don’t reveal what they are in their entirety.

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