The truth about 3D Printing

Let me first say, that I really enjoy 3D printing. The following post is not meant to discourage anyone, but rather give you realistic expectations before getting started:

  1. There is a ton of stuff online available to print, but that doesn’t mean you’re interested in everything online. Think of it like Netflix. Sometimes you’ll feel like you’ve spent more time searching for something, then actually printing something.
  2. A design that you think is simple and will take 15 mins to mock up, and 45 mins to print will actually take you about an hour to design. Then you’ll spend 2 hours trying to level your bed, and figure out why the first layer isn’t going down right. You’ll spend the first hour watching it, then spend time contemplating if you should stop the print because you’re noticing poor bed adhesion, or a couple of the supports fell, and then finally you’ll get too far into the print that you’ll cross your fingers and hope for the best.
  3. You’ll eventually look at everything you’ve printed and realize you use more filament on supports and failed prints then you do the actual print.
  4. Things take longer then you think to print- a lot longer. Sometimes, days.
  5. You’re going to have to accept failed attempts and move on.
  6. Painting your print it hard, but you’ll find a solution that works for you. (I won’t even mention the sanding).
  7. You’re going to feel like the coolest person in the world when you design your first print, and then it prints successfully. When you hold it you’ll think to yourself- I was just looking at in on my screen and now I’m holding it in my hand.
  8. When people come over, whether you designed the print or not, you’re going to want to show them it. They are going to think it’s the coolest thing they’ve ever seen.
  9. Eventually you’ll start printing things for other people.
  10. 3D printing is just a cool thing to do, no matter what level or how you use it.