Knowing that my son is into dragons at the moment, and he has a birthday party coming up, there was a file that had a dinosaur. Close enough, right? Lo and behold, the sonofagun looks like a dragon! I preheated the printer, queued it up, and hit print. A little over 5 hours later, I came back to the garage to check out what the dragon looked like (OK I lied, I was in there every 20 minutes marveling at how cool this piece of equipment is. Judge me, I don't mind).
Wonderful. So my first print was a facade, and now I'm stuck staring at this machine that I thought was my new best AI friend. Mentally going back through the training with Cameron, I remembered something about the temperature of the bed (where the object gets printed) and how that can affect the extruder (the piece that squirts out the filament). After checking that, I realized that this was the problem and fixed it (the bed & filament weren't hot enough, so it got stuck in the feeder... Simple fix, dummy mistake).
-- 3D Printers are awesome and should be in every school
-- 3D Printers take a lot of patience and attention to detail
-- You're going to make mistakes. Don't think of the mistakes as $$$
-- For the first time in many people's lives, they will enter a learning curve
-- The entry point will most likely feel like a beginner
-- The applications of printed objects is nearly unlimited... really
-- I have a lot of learning to do
This is the first time in a long, long time that I've felt like I am under-gunned when it comes to something related to technology. All devices are pretty easy to figure out, the new software updates and apps are a pretty quick turnaround, but this is different and I love it. I'm enjoying the fact that I have a lot of learning to do. I'm enjoying the fact that there's discomfort as to whether or not the next try will be a success.
My printing experience will most definitely be a journey filled with ups and downs, but I am eager to figure out where else this can take education. As of right now, I'm watching it dance back and forth to create a simple rendition of a metric wrench. Soon, it will be printing far more sophisticated products that I hope to take to classrooms at CJUHSD in the fall.