3D Printing 101

3D Printing sounds amazing, but what is it really good for? To answer this question, I of course needed a printer.

While investigating the concept of 3D printing, I needed to understand what it was going to be good for. I came up with a number of ideas around the house. I wanted a custom bracket to hold a downspout in place. The microwave always slid around in its cubby, surely some mounted brackets would solve that problem. The rain guage needed to be mounted to the roof of the shed with a custom mount. Yes, once I found enough excuses, it was time to get the printer.

The one on the market that was the most appealing was the Printrbot Simple Metal. This printer was relatively cheap, and I really like that the assembly instructions included using the printer itself to print the final parts for the printer!

It was a couple night project to put it together, but the process was well worth it to understand how this printer works. This made the understanding of the GCode control codes more understandable as they were basically directly controlling elements of the printer.


Once it was assembled, the cooling fan blew generally in the direction of the build, but not directly. A cooling fan shround design was referenced and was the first non-calibration build on the printer:

First Print

This entire process has been amazing, I continue to geek out about the possiblities even though they don’t appear commercial in nature, just hobbyist-cool. I don’t think I’ve been this giddy about learning something since I was 11 years old and started to learn how to code.

Adrian Akison Written by:

Adrian is a serial CTO, hobbyist game developer, 3D printing enthusiast and all around maker.