Category Archives: general

Institute of 3D Printing : Is the 3d printing world ready for training?

So you bought yourself a 3d printer ….

Anet 3d Printer

It’s sitting on the table over there looking at you…

Waiting to be used….

Now you have browsed through thingiverse ( if its up) or Yeggi to find a 3d model you really like.

Downloaded it – seen the proof that it prints online….

So you give it a go….

That blob on your build plate looks nothing like the model….

What the ….

Where do you start to find out what you now do to create what you want…

Ah…Facebook- plenty of experts on there….

And you get plenty of advice

‘Try tweaking the filament size.

‘What about your belts

‘Turn on coasting

‘Turn off coasting

‘Loosen your belts….

You know the routine….

What do you do.

Who do you turn to for sound advice .

Someone who has years of solid experience.

Someone who has put together some 3d printing training…

Introducing the institute of 3d printing

Ed Tyson

Created by Ed Tyson.

Who some may recognize as the starting Rigid ink – selling filament.

Also the creator of the first 3d printing summit in Dec 2019.

Institute of 3D Printing

He has now opened a learning portal where you can find out about the wonderful hobby you have started.

What’s inside

Once you sign up and log in then you are presented with a dashboard showing the courses across the top as a menu.

Don’t skip the safety training, thinking you know it all .

We all know it, but it is worth just reviewing it again.

Once that is done then jump into the core course.

You get 6 modules within this course .

With the first two open straight away and the others following along at weekly intervals.

Then there is the advanced slicer mastery.

Taking on the three main slicers of the day.

Cura, Prusaslicer and Simplify 3d.

Cura Slicer

Go in depth into each setting.

Get to know simplify 3d before you put your hand into your pocket

and buy it.

Do you like the interface, do you think you will get on with it.


See what your tutor thinks of it as she takes you through what each

element does and how it affects your prints.

Get the same stl files to slice and print – see what differs between what they get and what you do.

See you progress across the bottom as you complete each module.

Simplify 3d slicer

If you need faster help then there is the ‘ask an expert’ – where you can ask an expert for help on specific printing problems.

Show off your finished print – show the difference between what you started with and what you ended up with and how you got there.

Find the friendly community of like minded 3d printerers who want to improve their prints.

Take a deep dive into the monthly masterclasses.

New topics and more indepth step by step methods of getting there.

Or download the podcasts, to listen to while traveling to work, on your lunchbreak or just a bit of downtime.

Get to know how the experts do it and their tips – put these into action and see your results improve.

Download the free resources – the ultimate beginners guide to 3d printing and the ultimate 3d print quality troubleshooting guide.

Both very valuable resources.

And finally sign up for the monthly newsletter.

This will keep you up todate with any news, success stories , what’s happening – so you don’t miss out on anything within the institute.

And that about covers it.

But i hope you will agree that there is a tremendous amount of information available within the institute.

 What did i think

Ed sent me an offer for a two week free trial.

So i thought about it and decided to sign up.

The clean interface with the drop down menu give you quick access to the courses you want to go to.

Going through the safety training video reminded me to start a maintenance log.

Ad to check that all the connections were still tight.

Would i get a fireball extinguisher , i tend not to leave the printer unattended so not at the moment.

Watching Adam go through the basics of the 3d printer and then onto bed leveling was interesting.

A good explanation of 3 point and 4 point leveling – reasons for and against.

There were stl’s to download and try out for bed leveling – this way you can go back to them and ask questions knowing that they know what you are printing.

There were only a couple of extra lessons within there at the time i joined and i hope that there will be many more very quickly.

Each of the lessons with downloadable resources were about 20 mins long.

So you won’t be having ‘that look’ as you come back into the family room.

Going through the advanced slicers course i chose Cura to start with – as that is the one i use most often.

Ed has chosen to focus on three of the main ones – cura, prusaslicer and simplify 3d.

I am sure as requests come in there maybe more added to the list…

Susan, you tutor takes you through each of the menus and what they mean to your prints.

I did pick up a few tips to improve my printing – so thank you Ed, Susan and the team.

Even if you don’t use the other slicers it is worth going through the training to see what they are like – especially simplify 3d.

If you like what you see then you may be able to justify it a bit more.

As they go through lessons you will pick up tips on how to change the quality of your prints.

Again there were a limited number of modules and they are still releasing them.

I don’t remember going through the prusaslicer training or it wasn’t available but i expect it will be up to the high standard of the other two.

The rigid ink mascot does get moved around the bed a lot within these videos – but it is one that can be used as a test piece.

Shame i didn’t see a download for it.

I didn’t try the ask an expert, but seeing who the experts are – the trainers, i can feel assured that the answers would have been correct or at least would move me a lot closer to getting my print quality where i want it.

And you can go back, with the continuity of them knowing what you have been doing…

The podcast wasn’t available, but after watching the 3d printing summit late last year I am certain that the visitors or the information given will be of high value and worth listening to.

Who would I recommend it for

3d printing is still in it’s infancy.

I cannot go on a 3d printing design course ( i may be proven wrong).

Learning about the rules of design for 3d printing- it is normally left to the individual to find the rules and apply them.

I did find a few years ago a cad program dedicated for 3d printing, but it was a paid for program and soon disappeared, unfortunately.

In the meantime learning about 3d printing consists of reading the help from the slicer programs and trying to interpret what they mean.

Sorting out whether the printing problem you have is due to the slicer or a hardware problem is again down to you – or asking the FB experts…

Now what you have is someone who has put together a learning platform for beginners through to experts.

Where they can all ask an expert and know that the experts have practical knowledge.

Learn the terminology of 3d printing and find out how to apply it to your printing.

Keep up to date with changes in the slicers and know what are gimmicks and what will improve the quality of your prints.

And there is even a short course on using meshmixer to manifold your models and manipulate them.

Seeing dink with a dragons arm is an interesting concept, but shows what can be accomplished.

But i would say it really doesn’t matter at what level you are at – there will be something to improve your print quality or print process.

As there is no contract and you can sign up and leave when you need to it is worth keeping their site in a bookmark – just in case you come up against a problem you think ‘i need to have a rational conversation with an expert to solve this’, rather than all the noise you get on social media.

And you get to go through the latest training…

So seriously , check it out – see if the two week trial offer is still there, if not signup for a month and see what you think.

I will be dipping back in in a bit…

Maybe see you in there….

Anet a8 upgrades : Adding Led Light to See Your Prints

What Anet A8 upgrades have you done?

Buying a 3d printer is exciting.

Putting together an Anet A8 can be frustrating but rewarding.

what are we prinitng
what are we prinitng?

Printing with it is brilliant.

But one problem is that you cannot see what you are printing! Continue reading Anet a8 upgrades : Adding Led Light to See Your Prints

Anet A8 problems – Are They Real?

Anet A8 3d printer – A fire hazard out of the box?Anet A8 problems : Anet A8 3d printer

There has been a lot of talk on the internet about the Anet A8 problems.

I disagree that it is in itself dangerous.

The Anet A8 printer has sold in its thousands and is continuing to sell.

There will always be problems selling a product in this quantity and due to the fact you put it together there is another factor at play.

I have one of these machines and at the moment it is working fine.

The areas that are of concern are :

  1. The power supply is not up to the job.

  2. The mosfets on the main board for the bed and nozzle are not up to the job.

  3. The connector for the heated bed is not up to the job.

  4. The frame is not up to the job.

With all of these known problems it is a wonder that it sell in the quantities it does! Continue reading Anet A8 problems – Are They Real?

Ups for a 3d Printer: Do you need one?

Why would you need a UPS for a 3d printer?

Why do you need a UPS for a 3d printer?

Let me describe the scenario…

You have spent a lot of time on your 3d printer, adding this and that mod, improving the quality and repeatability of your prints. So now you can slice a model and print it knowing that it will be as good as it can be.

Ok, now for the big one. The 100 hour print,the one you keep putting off knowing it will tie up your printer for over 4 days – but it will be worth it. Continue reading Ups for a 3d Printer: Do you need one?

How to smooth PLA prints

Smooth PLA prints – how to achieve them

Have you ever wondered how to smooth PLA prints – if so read on…

You have invested money into your printer, and time if you have built it yourself.

You have got to know how it works and are happy that you can download and print within its capabilities.

But some days you look at the prints and think why is there not a vapour bath for PLA as there is for ABS?

Well I’m not here to tell you there is a safe bath available for PLA, but that there is an easy way to get your models to look polished.

As most of you are aware the finish of your model will depend on the layer height you select when you slice it.

But as with most things there is a downside to picking the smallest layer height you can – time and lots of it.

You can quickly go up from an hour to 5 hours or more by going down in layer height. Continue reading How to smooth PLA prints

Where to place your 3d printer for the best results

person shrugging

So you have bought yourself a 3d printer- excellent, now- where to place your 3d printer for the best results.

With the helpful hints in this post you can be sure that if you follow them you will get the best results from your 3d printer. Continue reading Where to place your 3d printer for the best results

3d printing ideas for students

3d printing ideas for students

Teaching students is an excellent career, you can use your skills to bring to life your subject – to get the student enthused in your area of expertise.

Being able to stand in front of a class of student and to try to keep 3d printing ideas for students: classroomtheir attention for more than 140 characters must be extremely difficult.

Nowadays you have an advantage, by using technology you can get your student engaged in their learning. Continue reading 3d printing ideas for students

3d Printer Anatomy : Introduction

Introduction to the 3d printing process

Most people buy a 3d printer, typically a FFF (fused filament fabrication type), after seeing something printed out professionally and after printing something themselves wonder what went wrong.  3d printer anatomy : printed ball

This is where the 3d printer anatomy series will help in understanding what the limitations are.

Their prints are stepped, often fail, have a lot of stringy bits and droopy bits.3d printer anatomy: stringy

Do they keep going?– only the inquisitive, the rest are up for sale on Craigslist,Gumtree or E-bay or in the attic along with the breadmaker, sandwich toaster and scalectrix. Continue reading 3d Printer Anatomy : Introduction

3d printer project ideas : How My 3d Printer Fixed A Car

Another post in the 3d printer project ideas series.

others include :

What would you use your 3d printer for?

3d printer project ideas : vw scirocco gtx

My partner has a 1985 vw scirocco gtx. Very nice model. She has just had a bit of work carried out on it to keep it going for a few more years.

It now looks very nice, but it developed a problem.

When started it revved to about 2000 rpm on idle and wouldn’t decrease.

3d printer project ideas : prusa i3

Read more to see how my Prusa i3 3d printer fixed a car… Continue reading 3d printer project ideas : How My 3d Printer Fixed A Car

My 3d Printer’s not Reading My SD Card: HELP

my 3d printer’s not reading my sd card – arghh what do I do?

The Problem

Have you had the same problem where my 3d printer’s not reading my SD card.

I put the card in and it says card inserted.My 3d Printer's not Reading My SD Card: card inserted

But no data is present when I go to the ‘print from SD card ‘ menu.

I know files are present and in G-code.

what do I do.

My 3d Printer's not Reading My SD Card: no card

Continue reading My 3d Printer’s not Reading My SD Card: HELP