Spring ’21 Build A Printer

Week 1

Wednesday, January 27th 2021

  • Meet and Greet! In our first meet up we’ll introduce ourselves, discuss our project ideas, and discuss the 3D printer build.
    • What are possible challenges you all see?
    • What are some possibilities/design considerations that might not have been thought of?
  • Questions and answers
  • Take a moment to read over this short article about the history of 3D printing. We’ll have a brief discussion about it Friday.

Let’s meet the group:

NameMajorDesign Idea
Bryan PalaguachiPhysics and chemistryInterchangeable harness system
Ariel FeinbergSociology, minor in Theatre360 degree, multi paper clip
Payton GoreUndeclaredDoor opener with clasps
Candido MartinezEconomics and Computer ScienceCustom computer mouse
Francis CriscioneComputer ScienceCup holder extensions for large water bottles
Mark JaschkeAstronomy and PhysicsBicycle add-ons/parts
Jennifer BartletComputer scienceAthletic therapy rollers
Div ChamriaPhysics and ChemistryRigid wallets
Linh NguyenComputer Science and Economics Customizable lamp shades
Cade SmithUndeclaredAirpod charging doc
Luke DurivageEconomicsPhone case with wallet
Daniel BernsteinPhysicsCar vent phone holder


One of the most important parts of your build, is ensuring you’ve set the power block to 115V, otherwise you may end up with Hamilton FD at your building! Do this the moment you take it out of the box and double check it before turning the machine on the first time.

Friday, January 29th 2021

  • Let’s take a look at our build progress so far and help others who might not have completed their builds.
  • Find and download the benchy model off Thingiverse.
  • Download the slicing software Ultimaker Cura
    • Layer height
      • Quick Prototype: 0.2 mm
      • Working Model: 0.1 mm
    • infill
      • Any where from 10% to 25%, depending on use case
    • support
      • If your model has large bridges, or parts that overhang larger than 45°, support will needed.
    • raft
      • In most cases a raft if beneficial and helps ensure your build will adhere to the build plate. After some experience, you’ll know when you can get away without one and when you’ll need one.
    • temperatures
      • PLA usually states between 190-220°, however, I always print PLA at 230°
    • See image below for design consideration help
  • Leveling the build plate
    • See video below for review/help
  • Questions and answers

For next week:

Additional Info and Resources:

Another build tutorial (I enjoy his effort in taking it step, by step and showing images)

Some tips:

  • Stay as organized with parts, especially screws, bolts, washers, etc. They are easy to lose. Keep them in the bags they came in as much as possible until needed.
  • Don’t tighten things down all the way while working on a step. You may need to go back and undo/remove the part because you got it wrong at first. Once certain the part is in the right place/position, you can go back and tighten it down fully.
  • Pay attention to the orientation of things, especially the support bars, slider, and belt parts.

Loading filament into the Ender 3 (can be very difficult)

How to level the print bed – again, this can be difficult to get it just right. However, when it is “just right” they printer is a workhorse. I use a business card to level. The main goal is having the distance between the nozzle and the print bed, about the width of the business card and consistent at each of the four dials.

Week 2

Monday, February 1st 2021

Great guide to design considerations with different types of 3D printing. Remember, Ender 3 are FFF printers – Fused Filament Fabrication. Also sometimes referred to as Fused Deposition Modeling.

Friday, February, 5th 2021

  • Let’s continue looking at Tinkercad
  • Questions and answers

Additional Info and Resources:

You do not need to create an account to use and the Ender 3 are non-networked printers.

– Learning Tinkercad with Kacie Hultgren. Great tutorial, takes just under an hour and a half. Highly recommended.

For next meetup, March 25th 2021 :

  • Have initial prototypes ready to share with the group. We will discuss them and offer input and suggestions on how to move forward.

Week 3

Thursday March 25th, 2021

  • Show and tell! Share with us your initial prototype(s). Share with us your successes and challenges. We’ll discuss them as a group and offer up any suggestions, help, or ideas we might have as you move into your final design phase.
  • Questions and answers

Additional Info and Resources:

Here’s a great video that shows a very fun project and speaks to the nature of iterative prototyping and development. Not necessarily related to 3D printing, though 3D printing was utilized to make some of the parts, it highlights the need for constant product evaluation, iteration, and development.

For next meetup, May 7th 2021 :

  • Have your final prototype completed
  • Prepare you “Shark Tank” pitch. You may want to create a PowerPoint presentation, or maybe a video that will pitch your company and your amazing new product.

Week 4

Friday, May 7th 2021

  • Shark Tank time! Present your product and sales pitch. We’ll have some guest committee members to review the final pitches and maybe some prizes for the best product and pitches!