3D Printing Experiences and Info

This is a list of tips and links about 3D printing in general. There will be some specific to the Creality Ender 3 and the Monoprice Mini Delta because I own both of those printers and have some bit of experience with them. I will talk about general 3D printing and related topics also.

NOTE: This is a work in progress. It may appear jumbled and there is no doubt duplication. Hang in there while I work through getting the stuff populated.

Section Links

Useful, Interesting, Whimsical, and Other Things to Print

The Useful

The Interesting

  • Nautilus Gears - A test to see if you can figure out how to print it all at once using Cura to combine printing multiple parts at the same time. I was not able to on my Mini Delta but could have on the Ender 3.
  • Mobius Strip - A challenging print. You MUST include supports. I have not gotten a good print on either the Mini Delta or the Ender 3.
  • Gearicon - Almost in the whimsical category but an interesting piece because it can be challenging to print the single piece version.

The Whimsical

  • Smiling Baby Groot - A lot of fine detail. The source .stl file is quite large so be patient loading it into Cura. To show the detail you need a fine layer height as mentioned in the description.
  • Cube Gears - This one fascinates most people. It's a bunch of parts you have to assemble once it's printed. I had trouble getting the pins to adhere well to the bed and ended up using a brim.
  • Wobbler - In the toy class. Easy to print. The Mini Delta required a half sized version.
  • Puzzle Box - Easy to print. Requires some extra parts. This will baffle anyone who has never seen this puzzle. How it works is pretty obvious as you print it.
  • Flexi-Dragon - A longer print (about 12 hours) but very satisfying. I had to use a raft to get it to print right.

Monoprice Mini Delta Modifications

The Mini Delta is NOT listed in Cura's library of printers. You WILL need to get the proper settings before you try to do any slicing of these files.

The most important source of information I found was the Monoprice Mini Delta Wiki page. It has a wealth of information on the Mini Delta including the configuration files (and how to install them) for the Mini Delta. Spend some time (well, a lot of time) on these pages. It will be well worth your time.

Before you print any of these make sure you know how close to true your printer prints. Print this 20mm calibration cube and measure it to see how close things are. Some of the parts below just don't fit if they end up too small. If it's off by 2% then you will have trouble getting the leg shield to fit.

Once you have the cube printed, measure it and calculate how much under or over your printer sizing is. Divide 20 by the actual size you measure for each direction (X, Y, and Z). You will get a number like 1.0189 - this means that you need to adjust that direction to 102% in Cura. You only need to do this for size critical parts like the leg shield.

  • Calibration Cube - A 20mm cube you can test the printer calibration with. One of many available.
  • Leg Shield - This will keep 'stuff' from falling down into the bottom of the legs and into the control board area. [size critical]
  • Spindle Rounder - Lets the filament spool roll easier. [size critical]
  • Filament Guide - keep the filament from rubbing against the frame. I used something different but I'd use this one now.
  • Riser Feet with SD Card holder and Switch Mounting - I did these mostly for the SD card holder.
  • Menu Buttons - It's hard to see those buttons unless your lighting is really good. These help A LOT. I printed the forward and back buttons in blue and paused the print so I could change to white for the actual top of the buttons. I printed the center one in red.
Since the Mini Delta lacks a power switch I added one of these Feed-Through On/Off Switch on the power cord. It's not as convenient as other solutions but it gets the job done for a minimal cost.

Creality Ender 3 Modifications

This is not a complete list - it's just the ones I feel are most important.

  • Fan Guard - Keep junk from getting sucked into the control board enclosure. Print the one with the support fins so you don't need to turn on support in Cura.
  • Display Cover - Cover up the back of your display board.
  • Clip for Display Cable - Neatly tie down the display cable.
  • Z Spacer - Spacer for the Z-axis motor. This adjusts the Z-axis motor to the proper spacing from the upright channel. Print this on another printer before you assemble your Ender 3 if possible.
  • Filament Guide (upper) - A top of the printer filament guide to get your filament directed out from the frame.
  • Filament Guide (extruder) - A guide to keep your filament away from the Z-axis screw.
  • Filament Roller Guide - A better solution at the extruder particularly if you have installed the MacEwen extruder with it's entry PTFE tube.
  • Cable Chain - Keep those cables from tangling! Lots of parts to print but it's worth it.
  • Cooling Fan Shroud - A better cooling fan shroud that directs more air in the right place. Print with PETG for strength and heat resistance.
  • Cable Protector - This protects where the cables run into the control box under the center rail. The rail is cut and has sharp edges.
  • Extruder Knob - You don't really need this until you swap out your extruder for something better. It works great with the MacEwen extruder and if you mark the wheel you can count the turns you need to get to the hot end after you install that dark blue Capricorn PTFE tube.