What should be my 1st 3D print job?

I love and hate the beginning of each school year... I love it because of the excitement that everyone has and when everything is working like it should. I hate it because we always learn the same lessons over and over and over again....

So ask yourself this question: if you have never 3D printed something, what should be your 1st 3D print job? It is super easy to find models on the internet (www.thingiverse.com is a gold starting point) but not all of these models are good starting points.

So rather than starting with that cool X-wing model with tons of small detail pick something more practical. I am fine with user picking "toys" to learn how to 3D print, but pick reasonable sized models (not too small and not too big). Pick models with some detail but not too much detail - really avoid models with lots of small detail. Avoid jobs with multiple parts that have to be assembled. Normally I tell users that any fine detail less than 1/4" will be a problem. Lastly, avoid overhangs like the plague to start with.

Also during your first few prints, watch the printer in action. Observe any startup alignments the printer does; see what it does to "clean" the nozzle; watch how it makes the first few layers. 3D printers are not magic boxes. If you put in a crappy model or do not watch what you are doing, you will get crappy results.

The MakerSpace folder on your desktop has many great examples of models. Don't try and start with a part that will make its way into the MakerSpace Hall of Fame! Start simple.

Happy printing!

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Online since June 2019.  Last major edit:  22 Aug 2021