under $500. The initial reviews were negative because it
was not open source and required you to buy their
filament cartridges. Of course, it was quickly hacked and
users were running third party software on it.
I didn't want to hack it. I wanted to use it as-is. It
didn't take long before reviews came in from users who
said it printed just fine with the included software. That's
what I wanted to hear!
It was clearly popular as it sold out often on Amazon,
but after about a month I finally was able to get one. I
received my first 3D printer — the Davinci 1.0 — and
within an hour, I had completed my first 3D print. It was a
sample print of a keychain token which the Davinci has as
part of its three built-in sample print selections. It went so
smooth, I was hooked.
From there, I started to print some of my Tinkercad
designs. The designs came out excellent and I was soon
designing new items to print. I felt like a kid with a new
toy. I also found other users at a couple forums. Many
were already hacking their Davincis, but a few people
were having fun like I was — without modification.
After several weeks of printing, I discovered that even
though the Davinci was designed to make 3D printing
"out-of-the-box" easy, I could improve it with just a few
adjustments. I found that the auto-calibrating base still left
the prints lifting off the heated bed at times. I decided to
manually adjust it myself to my own settings, and soon
found the prints were coming out much better and
sticking to the heated platform during the print without
warpage or lifting.
Like any tool, you have to learn some of the "features"
to get it to work the way you want. It was really just
several minor tweaks to fit my needs. I then began to
design my first 3D case for one of my electronic designs. I
created a case for my homemade PICkit 2 clone
programmer design I feature on my website at
www.elproducts.com. Franky, it’s probably one of the
ugliest case designs I've made, but I learned a lot from it.
After about 15 prints, I was able to get everything to fit
together properly and even designed in a snap feature for
the top. My skills using Tinkercad continued to get better
as I could now see the direct results of my designs. I'm
now to the point where creating a successful design can
be completed in one or two prints.
With the 3D printer firmly planted in my workshop, I
began to search Thingiverse.com for designs I could build.
I found a plastic version of an eight-pin integrated circuit in
actual size, but I decided to make it bigger. In fact, I made
My website and blog:
My You Tube Channel:
My 3D designs:
■ FIGURE 3. Large eight-pin IC
breadboard holder and component box.
70 December 2014