OT - Anyone Here Been Doing 3D?


Contributing Member
Sorry to be late to the game (was on the road as usual) - I built a Prusa 3 design some years ago at NovaLabs, I get great results but it is not really reliable - the capacitive bed leveling probe usually works but sometimes allows head crash. I think the best approach to bed leveling is a height probe and let the SW model the inclination plane of the system, I use Marlin FW for this and it's been bulletproof other than the probe.

For design I usually use OpenScad (it suits how I think) or Tinkercad for simple stuff. Blender for non-engineered things, and a lot of models are directly available online to download. ABS and PLA are mainly what I print with, HIPS is a PITA.
Cura for slicing, and I mainly shuttle a SD card between my 'puter and printer.
If I'm going to leave it unattended I have a smoke detector and a wireless camera watching it, it's a peace of mind when I'm in the garage to know my office printer isn't on fire.

What is on my "to finish" list is lost wax/lost PLA casting in aluminum. I could't get sufficient print quality to pull off a memorial plaque for Wade using green-sand techniques to cast the aluminum, so next is to use a wax filament to print the plaque, cast it in plaster, make a flask and then pour it - I just need a spare 2 days to get it done!

If anyone is interested, I'm casting some gear shift knobs as a test using this technique and can post the results/carnage to CACC.... Flammable plastic, molten aluminum and several IPAs, what could possibly go wrong??


I have a Wanhao i3 MK2... I printed some object for fun, but not using it much anymore.
Printed this giant "week long" multipart process spaceship


Joe Loyd

Contributing Member
Tim, the BLTouch sensor I added uses Hall-effect and so far seems to be very dependable and is built into the TH3K version of Marlin. I've had several "epic-fails" but not related to bed-level.

Doug Smith

Contributing Member
Tom, while plastic's still no replacement for metal, it largely depends on what filament your parts were made from (and of course the printer itself). A few years ago probably the only readily available filament was PLA. The filaments have improved probably more than the printers themselves and there's a whole range to choose from, for example PLA, PLA+, ABS, PET, PETG, TPU, TPE, TPC, Nylon, PEET....plus the exotics, woodfills, Metals, carbon fiber, etc....
Tom, on top of what Joe said, there's also a dizzying array of configurations / options for when you do your print. The infill approach (how you fill the empty space inside the object) can also have a big impact on the strength. It can also have a big impact on the amount of time it takes to print (and the amount of filament used too). If you were having problems with it, I wouldn't be surprised if the guy was taking a lighter-weight infill strategy to speed up the print which would unfortunately lead to a weaker print. Don't know but that is another possibility. I tend to use a pretty heavy infill approach which takes a lot longer but is also a bit stronger.