As usual, click any photo to bring up a larger version.
This is the Creality Ender3 V2 printer. Yes, a 3D printer. I have never owned a 3D printer before. At the time of writing (Spring 2021) 3D printers have been out for a number of years, but I have never yet had any experience with them. So this is probalbly a 3rd or 4th generation printer.
This is a near entry-level type printer and it comes as a partial kit. You will need to spend an hour or two putting this together. The video above shows some images of assembling the printer, and a few preliminary tests. The assembly process is really not that tough. There is no soldering, for instance. You just need to bolt together some components. You can buy pre-assembled printers if you want, but you will pay a bit more.
And yes, things can go wrong if the printer is not tuned properly.
(I adjusted the z-hop and the retraction in the Cura slicer software, which seemed to fix this. Sorry, not going into details, that's not what this article is about!)
Now this was what I wanted to write about.
This was my 2nd "real" object that I 3D printed. It is a rear lens cap for a Konica AR style lens.
It is for my son. He has started to get into film photography and recently purchased an older 2nd had Konica camera film kit, and one of the lenses was missing the rear lens cap.
It's an older camera, and I think a bit of an off brand. So parts are not that common. But yes, I could buy probably buy one if I tried -- I found a listing on ebay for $15 plus shipping.
Instead, we found a model of one on Thingiverse: Rear Lens cap for Konica AR Lenses I downloaded the model, ran it through the Cura slicer model, and printed this.
It took about 3 hours total, including that one failed print shown above. It took about 30 grams of filament, which probably cost around 50 cents or maybe 75 cents.
And that, I thought, is possibly a perfect example of what a 3D printer is for: making a small unique object for a special purpose.
I fully admit that I am a complete beginner at 3D printing, so the pros out there may be laughing at me. I probably have not even scratched the surface as to what these can do. But still, this really struck me as a perfect use case.
And just for fun, here is another thing I made -- a cable clip to hold USB cables to the edge of my nightstand. I found a model on thingiverse, but it was only built for one cable, so I redid most of it in Sketchup, and then printed this one. Can I buy cable clips? Probably. But this was fun, was custom to my table and needs. And I didn't have to go shopping.
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