I've always been a geek/nerd. From building go karts to playing with electronics kits, my interests has always revolved around technology and how things work. 3D printing is imply the latest in the long line of 'cool stuff'.
4 years ago I got a 101 Hero 3D Printer as a Christmas Present. I had to assemble it and it was a neat little 'delta-style' printer(meaning it used 3 vertical motors to move the print head).
It was a messy setup, I had to print quite a few things just to get decent prints out of it. Like there was no holder for filament, so that caused may issues trying to get it fed into the top of the machine. Even those clips that were used to hold the print bed in place were replaced with 3D printed 'spring' style clips.
I learned quite a bit but ultimately out-grew the cheap little printer in a fairly short time. I sold it off and let someone else have some fun learning like I did. Then I got into resin printing.
The Longer Orange 10 resin printer setup.
I started making cool things with it and started selling this little Fucktopus.
This thing because insanely popular. To the point that I had to buy a second, slightly larger, printer to keep up with demand! Enter the Anycubic Photon S.
Of course now I had to put them in an enclosure because Resin had an odour that I'm sure isn't healthy to breath in a small area. So modified the cabinet with a vent to outside and this also helped modulate the temperature the resin stayed at as well.
This lasted a bit till I started running into mechanical issues with the Orange 10 printer. It just wasn't printing right. I kept thinking it was software/modelling related and went through a lot fo resin till I realized it wasn't. Both printers gave me various issues, that I generally could solve but I found I was spending more time trying to fix that I wanted to. I just wanted to print cool things and because Resin seems to be way more picky about quality and settings, I just stopped printing after a while. I had hit a limit with hobby-based printers and there lack of support from the retailer/manufacturer.
I packed up the printers and left them, with the intent of selling them. Again, something good for someone to learn on and maybe even do better than me.
After some time again, I decided I needed to get into this as a business for real.
Enter in the Creality Ender 5 Plus.
This has had a few little issues as well, mostly again with support from the company/retailer. Luckily I'm handy enough to fix and learn. Suffice to say, that retailer is never likely to see another buck from me, especially after I've dropped nearly $4k in the last 2 years there.
This printer, once you get everything dialled in, works really damn well. It's an impressive workhorse and I've already started doing work for clients. I'll also have a few neat little things to sell, so stay tuned for those :)
I also kept watching industry news and saw a major turning point in 3D printing.
There has always been the ability to 3D print with metal but there was an inherent weakness in structural rigidity because of the way the metal powder grains fused to each other. It simply was not as strong has forged/stamped metal.
Then Porsche hit the world with 3D Printed Pistons for its 911 GT2 RS car! I mean, just wow! Talk about the part of a car that gets the most pounding now having a part that was previously unreliable, was simply amazing. They finally came up with a method to design and make these pistons and were an noticeable advantage over regular pistons!
THAT grabbed my attention. The more I watched the industry, the more I found exciting and let me use the 'but wait....there's more!' cliche!
A company found a way to use Artificial Intelligence(AI), match it with 3D Printing and built a whole damn hypercar! The video is long, fully of a bunch of jargon, but soooo worth the watch!
This is where I am headed. I'm sure but the time I get close, there will already have been may more advances in this tech, so I am looking forward to it all!
For now, I'll keep on learning about this business and moving on up the 3D printing food chain. Who knows, maybe I'll be able to bring my 3D printing factory to you! Of course, you'll need to lend me the $1,000,000 it'll cost to get that one for me ;)