This post is the 1st of 3 parts, on a discussion of basic techniques that will keep your 3D printer operating at it's best, and producing consistently great printed results.
As desktop 3D printers become more reliable, and easier to use, achieving great printed results is easier now than ever before. For example, the DeltaMaker 3D printer is a "plug-n-play" 3D printer, that is ready to print right out of the box. It comes pre-loaded with sample 3D models that may be printed immediately after plugging-in the printer.
To ensure that your printer is always working "like-new", the following operating procedures should be used. These operating procedures highlight some usage techniques that will improve the reliability and print quality of any desktop 3D printer.
Operating Procedures / Usage Techniques
- Ensure the build plate is level,
- Set the nozzle height, and
- Keep the nozzle clean
While the screenshots in this discussion illustrate the DeltaMaker procedures, these same usage techniques are applicable to any desktop 3D printer - please refer to your instruction manual for the procedures specific to your printer.
Part 1: Level Build Plate
The build plate on your 3D printer must be level to ensure your printed objects look their best. A level build plate is necessary to ensure that the first printed layer of your object has a uniform thickness and consistent bed adhesion at all points of the object. Objects printed on a level build plate have better dimensional accuracy, and do not peel or lift off the build plate during printing.
Objects printed on an un-level build plate, will show signs of varying first layer thickness and areas of the object that lift or curl off the build plate while being printed.
An un-level build plate also prevents the nozzle height from being set correctly, causing the nozzle to be too high in some...
The facebook post read "Goodbye MakerBots, hello DeltaMakers!"
Factur is a membership driven Makerspace in Orlando and its 40+ members demand reliable, stable equipment. After months of frustration, Factur Founder Doug Brown kicked the space's MakerBots to the curb and moved 4 new DeltaMakers into his 3D printing room. Three months after the switch, the members are still thrilled with the performance of the DeltaMakers. The volunteer in charge of the 3D printing room, Carlos Vega, runs the DeltaMakers constantly. "They're work horses," shared Vega, "they've each got their own little quirks and personalities and we've named each one."
In addition to supporting the 40 person membership, Factur hosts a monthly 3D printer meetup. The meetup drives a community support of 3D printing and provides an opportunity for attendees to learn about the new technology. Attendees range in knowledge from basic to advanced. Some members own their own design businesses and use the meetup as an opportunity to share their knowledge and show off some of their designs.
Factur is a glowing example of an organization that supports and accelerates local businesses. DeltaMaker is proud to partner in those endeavours by providing stable, reliable equipment for this community.
In 2014 The Florida College System approved a College Credit Certificate for Rapid Prototyping Specialist. The certificate is a subset of the AS Degree in Engineering and is offered at about half a dozen schools across the state.
Close to home, Valencia College in Orlando, just graduated their second cohort of Rapid Prototyping Specialists.
As part of the Association of Florida Colleges Joint Commission Conference in Tampa, Florida were were able to meet with educators and administrators from the 28 colleges in Florida. We presented a session on incorporating 3D Printing into college curriculum from engineering to arts.
The conference was a great experience and we're looking forward to seeing colleges continue to embrace rapid prototyping and expand course offerings to their students.
Our presentation can be downloaded here.
On Tuesday, April 21 DeltaMaker joined over 20 supporters of STEM Education in Tallahassee, Florida for STEM Day at the Capitol. The day was packed with educating and entertaining both Capitol visitors and our state representatives.
Visitors saw robots, DeltaMaker 3D printers, topographical sand displays, simulators and got to play with a life sized angry birds set. Representatives from schools, museums, and industry met with representatives and were able to sit in on the legislative sessions.
Though we all know the importance of STEM education, we learned that there is very little direction that schools and educators have been given as far as how and what to teach. Furthermore, funding has become increasingly challenging. In response to these issues, we will continue to work with teachers and schools to support classroom learning and make 3D printing accessible to students everywhere.
True or False: Pi is the most recognized mathematical constant in the world.
True! And this year, Pi Day (March 14) is being heralded as the Pi Day of the Century. 3.14.15 only comes around once and today happens to be that day. The DeltaMaker team was looking for a fun 3D print to help commemorate Pi Day and the Tower of Pi by Roman Hegglin certainly fit the bill.
There is something so subtly charming about wrapping 1200 digits of Pi into circles to form a cup. Based on the designer's recommendation, we opted to print the tower with the solid wall for our first run. Printed with grape PLA, the tower took the DeltaMaker 3D printer approximately 12 hours to finish and we were thrilled with the results.
There are lots of other activities you can do to acknowledge this little ratio that allows us to calculate so many things about circles. Both high and low tech, how are you commemorating the Ultimate Pi Day?
- Pi Digit Distribution: Look at the first 50 or 100 digits of pi and make a bar graph that shows the frequency of each digit. How many times does zero appear?
- Read Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi. Write short stories about Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi to read aloud
- Bake a Pi(e)
- Bake Pi Cookies (bonus points for a 3D printed cookie cutter)
- Make your own Pi shirt
- Use pi to tell the time. Convert naturally circular...
Happy New Year From the DeltaMaker Team!
The start to a new year always brings talk of resolutions and changes for the future. Often, we feel immense pressure to make drastic changes at this time of year. But this year, just like every year, and today, just like every day the DeltaMaker Team will simply work to make a positive impact, show gratitude and communicate more effectively. We manage to keep the same resolutions day after day and year after year. Though they're not new or unique, they remain special. Whether you are making big changes this year, or just keeping on, we hope you have an incredible 2015!
1. Make a Positive Impact
We are looking forward to continuing to support local events, education and economy in 2015. We will continue to encourage growth of the Maker Movement. We'll develop educational materials to make 3D printing more accessible to teachers and students. We will continue to build every DeltaMaker 3D Printer in the United States.
2. Be Grateful
We are part of an incredible community. We started as a crowd funded project and were embraced by hundreds of backers and countless other supporters. Nearly 2 years have passed since our funding campaign ended and a year has passed since we shipped our first printer. Every day we are grateful to every one of our supporters.
3. Enhance Communications
Communication is key to successful relationship- both business and personal. This year, we're going to continue to improve our communication. You'll be seeing more of us on social media and you can always contact us.
Earlier this year, we shipped a DeltaMaker 3D printer to the fine folks at Make:Magazine for inclusion in their annual 3D printer shootout. Here is what they had to say about the DeltaMaker 3D printers.
The seamless integration of Octo-Print with preconfigured onboard Cura slicing is the first we've seen in a commercial machine our of the box, and something we'd like to see other vendors adopt and attribute.
Not only was DeltaMaker included in both the online and print versions of the magazine, we were awarded the Smart Software Integration award. The DeltaMaker printer was also recognized for being a turnkey solution to 3D printing.
This was such an incredible way to reflect on how far we have come in the last 12 months.
DeltaMaker is a proud sponsor of the 2014 Maker Faire Orlando, to be held at the Orlando Science Center on Saturday, September 13th, and Sunday, September 14th, 2014.
Christmas came a few weeks early for one of our Kickstarter backers! This month we completed our first test shipment of a DeltaMaker 3D printer. The recipient was so excited that they greeted the UPS delivery man at the driveway!
After the unboxing and set-up, the DeltaMaker printer was confirmed to be in perfect working order. With that knowledge, we're boxing up 5 more to ship out this week!
If you're one of the millions who play Minecraft, then you know that the annual MineCon is a HUGE deal! This year, the 7,500 tickets sold out in under 1 minute! The producers of the event reached out to our friends at FamiLab and asked them to help curate a Maker's Village area what would help bring elements of the video game into the real world.
The Maker's Village area was over 6,000 square feet of interactive, hands-on displays. It include Raspberry Pi controlled blocks that changed color depending on what you were standing on in the video game, animatronics, a three-sided mural, paper crafting and, of course, 3D printing.
We brought 2 DeltaMaker printers to the event and were continuously printing Minecraft characters for use on the landscape table created for the event. We printed pigs, endermen, creepers and more to help fill the interactive world with characters!
The FamiLab time lapse camera was positioned right over our heads and shows the magnitude of the event. The video below is from our Saturday experience. As you can see, it was quite an incredible day!