How I learned 3D printingThis was my first year of FTC and in addition to engineering, I also did 3d designing and printing for the team this year. Before the last summer vacation I had never worked with a 3d program or a 3d printer. During the summer holidays I learned how to work with OnShape and Casper (a former member of Team SPACE) brought the printer to my house and explained how it works.
The first thing I had to make was a base for the old team marker that fit on a block. Designing this was not very difficult, after I found my way around the program it was done in no time. The printing, on the other hand, was a big drama. I believe I wrote 2 pages in the ENB about printing this thing. The first time I had the wrong base and the thing fell off, which did not end well. The second time seemed to go well, but it turned out I had too little filament and I found that out too late. The third time it turned out that the old filament was stuck and then I even had to get Casper’s help, because I was unable to get is loose. And then came the fourth time where it finally worked! Unfortunately we didn’t use it as a team marker, but it was a good lesson in things that can go wrong while printing.
I also printed 4 different phone holders. These generally went well, only the filament was not properly attached to the base at the beginning, so that it clung to the nozzle and at some point the nozzle became clogged. This taught me that you first have to put some glue on the base, so that the filament will stay put.
I think printing will go a little smoother next year, I learned a lot from all the mistakes I made this year and now I can at least fix them more easily when they happen.