3-D Printing

This week has been interesting. My school taxes are not nearly as much as I feared, and my 3-d printer arrived. I will confess, I was a little frightened of it. More that I was worried I did not have the technical expertise to put it together properly. Those fears were completely unfounded. I purchased an AnyCubic Mega printer, it arrived with everything I needed including several different Hex keys, wrenches, clippers, and PLA filament to get started with.

An Anycubic 3-d printer in pieces straight from the box.

Once I got over my initial apprehension I started putting it together. The instructions were clear, easy to follow, and broken down into simple steps.

AnyCubic Mega Zero printer assembled with accoutrements and power supply in front. No wires are connected.

Once I got over my apprehension about putting the machine together, came wiring the machine up. I decided to stop for the night and tackle wiring it in the morning. Once I started wiring it, with the exception of discovering that I put one of the side supports on with the screw holes facing inside instead of outside, the entire process was very simple.

AnyCubic Mega Zero Printer with wrenches and hex wrenches in front, PLA on the printing bed and computer connecting cable on the left side of the printer.

Leveling the printer took some time, however it was well worth the effort knowing that I had done the job properly and I was ready to print. I followed the specific directions and made sure that I set the test print properly. I started the print and went off, since it was going to take 2 hours. I heard a tiny popping sound and came back to find this:

A small rectangular model in white with strings coming out of the back.

It turns out that the model popped off of the base and was being pushed around by the filament head. I stopped it before things got too messy. I plan on installing the heated plate I purchased when I bought the printer to see if that corrects the problem. I also plan on trying to print a model my sibling gave me, because according to them the default model never works quite right with this printer. I look forward to experimenting more with this. While I have purchased PLA filament to start with there are 3 other types that this printer is compatible with, I look forward to playing with all of them.

I love experimenting with new products as well as learning new skills. Remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract!

Christmas Presents

I have ordered a Brother Drum Carder for myself for Christmas.  (mom is getting a set of stacking boxes with clear doors for her yarn stash, shhhh don’t tell her).  The Drum carder I have ordered will have 90 tpi, suitable for carding finer wools without damaging them yet coarse enough that I can card almost anything else I desire.  In an effort to get into the carding spirit I also ordered a pound of undyed wool.  I have played with Kool-Aid Dye in the past, causing the co-president of my guild to think I only like primary pinks and blues, but I have been hearing a lot about dying wool with Wilton and Rit Dyes.  Due to this desire to experiment, I am doing some research about other peoples experiments with this dye.

The first mentioned Rit dye and a few ‘glugs’ of vinegar.  Her experiment went well!

Love Knitting has an article about Wilton Food Dyes; Start by soaking the fiber in a vinegar bath, 1/4 cup to about 4 oz of fiber, for at least 20 minutes.  Pour the fiber, vinegar, another 1/4 cup of vinegar into a pot.  Add the color a tiny bit at a time and agitate to disperse the dye.  Start on low and heat up your pot of fiber, when it is at a simmer just before boiling take it off of the stove and let it cool down.  Rinse with lukewarm water until the water runs clear, then hang up to dry.  There are also some tips about painting yarn, I particularly find it interesting that sponges (along with a vinegar dye mix) can be used to paint the yarn/fiber to create gradients and variations.  Heat is still needed to set the fiber, so the author steamed the yarn for about 40 minutes in a steamer basket.  Though they mentioned that it is possible to microwave for 1-2 minute bursts for about 5 minutes to set the yarn.

Both the RIT Dye site and Wilton Food Site have information on how to use their dyes for coloring different materials.  I cannot wait to begin experimentation!

Happy Crafting!