Hey! I’ve organized this post to be short simple and sweet. Straight to the point so that you’d be able to benefit as much as possible as quickly as possible. Enjoy!
- Ender 3
- Cura 3D Slicer (Free, used for slicing files in preparation for printing)
- TinkerCad 3D modeling software (Free molding software)
- Microsoft 3D builder (free, used for slicing parts quickly)
- Stock Ender 3 tool kit which Includes: metal scrapper, screwdriver, pliers and various wrenches.
Ender 3 Analysis:
Pros: The Ender 3 is a perfect little machine for those who are new or interested in getting to know the world of 3D printing. I’ve had my machine for a little while now and it’s phenomenal. For just under $200 you can own a printer that is extremely versatile which allows you to print almost anything imaginable. From small upgrades to your office desk to cooking products (such as cookie cutters), cosplay, and much, much more. If it can be 3D designed, it can be printed. My little printer has be able to tackle everything I’ve thrown at it. My longest print ever was just over 66 hours and this bad boy handled it like a champ. The printer out of the box works perfectly however you can find some neat little upgrades on sites such as Thingiverse.com which allow functions to be much smoother. For example, the printer has 3 fans which are slightly exposed to any particles – a quick search on Thingiverse allows you to print covers for the fans as well as other upgrades such as a spool holder for your filament. I cannot stress how versatile and upgradable this little guy is.
Cons:The Ender 3 has an advertised print build surface which measures 235 x 235 mm but an actual usable print area of 220 x 220 mm. Although this is more than enough for general prints for normal everyday items, this is not going to cut it for cosplay. I have printed a Black Panther helmet and needed to split the original 2 piece helmet into 15 separate, smaller parts! I cannot imagine the nightmare it would be to print one of those fancy Iron man suits Do3D has. I’m currently printing a coin sorter tray to help organize spare change. Furthermore, since this is an entry level printer, it does not have all the bells and whistles of more expensive printers such as auto bed-leveling. Which means after every few prints are so, you might need to double check your leveling prior to printing. (This isn’t a deal breaker, checking level takes approx. 2 minutes and can be done very quickly) Honestly, these are the only negatives I can find with this brilliant machine.
Printable Material: The Ender 3 supports multiple filament types – these include: PLA, PLA+, PETG, ABS and TPU. I personally stick with PLA manufactured by Hatch Box as its typically the cheapest filament, fits my personal needs, and the quality is amazing in my humble opinion. There is no “right” filament – each are designed for specific uses and have different traits. However PLA and PLA+ are the general types of filament for everyday products. The suggested temperatures of PLA vary from manufacture to manufacture, but a standard range is from around 180°C to 220°C.
Software specific information:
Cura is a phenomenal slicer, and is better than others on the market in my opinion. It is free, and accurately detects places which require support and places that do not – thus saving you on precious filament! You can control almost everything about your prints from thickness, fill density, printing and fan speeds – the whole 9 yards. However what I specifically love about Cura is that it produces accurate print time estimates. For example if it says a print will take 2 hours, you can expect 2 hours and only a couple of minutes spilling into overtime. With all other software’s, I’ve had such inaccurate times that the print would take almost an hour or two over the estimated print time.
Pros: Free, simple interface, accurate and EXTREMELY customizable.
Cons: A slight learning curve to the program for first-timers. However DO NOT let this discourage you, it’s an awesome program!!!
Please, if you’d like to learn more or have any specific questions feel free to comment below! I’ll give you my email address and I’d be more than happy to walk you though and help teach the ropes to anyone interested! :)