I picked up a used Wanhao Duplicator i3 from a friend for a good price. I have used 3D printers in the past, but I have never owned one before. Having one at my house allows me to run really long print jobs (+20 hours). The interesting thing about the Wanhao Duplicator i3 is that it allows me to print exotic filaments like ninja flex, PETG, nylon, wood, etc.
I decided to use Cura at the recommendation of John Biehler A local 3D printing genius. Cura is the software for slicing my 3D models into GCode. Its works great and is much easier than other applications that I have used in the past. It also includes the ability to add 3rd party plugins to add new features.
I joined a helpful facebook group for the Wanhao Duplicator i3 that I have been asking lots of questions as I slowly figure this printer out.
As I find more information I updated my 3D printer resources list.
3D printing FAQ
Q1) Do different manufacturers of filament require different temperatures for the same type of filament (PLA)?
Yes they do, manufacturers almost never give you pure filament. Normally it is doped with other things in an attempt to make a better filament. Even within the same manufacturer and plastic, different colors can require differing temperatures.
3D Printable models
- Pinshape - A online catalog of 3D printer models. Paid and free.
- GrabCAD - Professional 3D models for manufacting parts.
- Yeggi.com - Search Engine for 3D printable Models. Searches a lot of the smaller sites.
- ThingiVerse - The original online catalog of 3D printer models.
- NIH 3D Print Exchange - 3D-printable models that are scientifically accurate or medically applicable.
- YouMagine - Open source designs and 3D-printable models.
- MyMiniFactory - A decent selection of curiated 3D-printable models.
3D printing services
- 3D Hubs - A hub for finding local 3D printing services. They also have a comprehensive list of existing 3D printers with reviews.
- Shapeways - Paid 3D printing and professionally made 3D models. Prints many different materials (Gold, Silver, plastic, etc..)
- Dirty SLA - Cheap dirty prints. By far the cheapest you are going to find.
My test first 3D print on the Wanhao Duplicator i3