Let me preface this article by saying I’m not very educated when it comes to almost anything mechanical. I can understand software a little bit, but I have little to no knowledge when it comes to the nitty-gritty of computers, small machines and hardware in general. Regardless, I love technology as a whole and would love to learn more about it in the near future. I have a few tech savvy friends who own 3D printers, which are machines that use spools of plastic called filament, and can print small objects from coin banks to Dungeons and Dragons character models. I’ve known about 3D printers even before my friends got their own, but it was only a few weeks ago that I became interested in buying one. The idea that I could make a replica of Iron Man’s helmet out of what basically is plastic spaghetti really got my creative gears turning, and the possibilities of what I could make still seem endless. So, I bought one. After careful consideration, I chose Creality’s Ender-3 Pro to be my printer as it was on the cheaper side yet still gives a great performance while printing. A week passed and I finally got my printer, but it wasn’t put together. The instructions to build the Ender-3 Pro are very vague, but I decided to look at it like it was a Lego set because there’s only diagrams, no text. Thing is, it has never taken me five hours to build a Lego model. Obviously, the Ender-3 Pro isn’t made for kids so I really underestimated how long it would take to build given the instructions are only in 12 steps. I asked my 3D Printer-having pal if he wanted to “come take a look at it,” to which he agreed. When he arrived, he took over the building process like it was a walk in the park. It made me realize that one, I really had no idea what I was doing, and two, the instructions really were abhorrently vague. My friend had to go to work before finishing the printer, so I took over by watching YouTube tutorials instead of looking at the instructions. This is because the instructions given do not tell you how to load the filament into the printing tube, how to raise the bed of the printer and what the best height of it should be, how hot the nozzle must be to melt the plastic, and how to download files to the included USB/SD card hybrid to in turn print said files. It took a few days for my Ender-3 Pro to really be set in stone. As I said, I’m not very tech savvy so this process was both frustrating and enlightening. After dealing with bad instructions, countless test printings, multiple re-downloading of files, and a printing tube that didn’t stay connected until I had to force the darn thing into the filament loophole with all my might, it was completely 100% worth my time in every sense spoken. The experience that I got building the Ender-3 Pro heightened my understanding of how to extract specific files to print, where to extract them to, and made file organization outside of printing much easier for me. Although it’s a small start, the organization of files seems to be my gateway into learning how PC’s work for the most part. I’m also printing models, office supply holders, badges, stencil works, and much more to come. Watching the printer work is relaxing, and the payoff when completing a print is wonderful, especially if it turns out well. I’m also learning something new with each print. Although I don’t know exactly how the printer works, I can sort of guess what goes on inside the circuits to make everything work as intended. It’s a whole world of things to learn sitting on my desk, so if you’re ever thinking about getting a 3D Printer, tech savvy or not, I suggest getting one not just to print small knicknacks but for the more technical experience as well.
To celebrate Disability Awareness Month, Indiana State University held an interactive workshop that discussed how disability is portrayed in the media.
Terre Haute, IN (47809)
Cloudy with light rain early...then becoming partly cloudy. Low near 45F. Winds NW at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of rain 60%. Higher wind gusts possible..
Cloudy with light rain early...then becoming partly cloudy. Low near 45F. Winds NW at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of rain 60%. Higher wind gusts possible.
Updated: April 8, 2020 @ 9:49 pm