Setting up the Ender 3 Pro

Got to really dig into the fantastic gift Liz got me for Christmas: the Ender 3 Pro.

I ended up watching at least two different 30+ minute videos on setting up the thing, before I felt comfortable tackling the actual process. This thing definitely made me feel nervous.

For the record, I watched this video from Tomb of 3D Printed Horrors as well as this quickstart guide from 3D Printing Canada. I ultimately ended up following along most closely with the quickstart guide.

Interesting note: for the most part, the pieces were the same, with a few exceptions. I found myself trying to mount the z-axis motor using the wrong sized screws (what came in the box differed from what was in the video).

If you’re coming across this post and trying to set up a printer yourself, here’s my tip: follow the videos, but make sure to verify the parts in your box match what you’re being told to use. This will just save you maybe 15+ minutes of trying to figure out why things aren’t quite working out.

I handled this whole thing like someone’s newborn child – I was very nervous about crushing or breaking something.

The pieces, laid out. I found a lot of videos on things that should be done to improve the machine itself… but decided to hold off on following those tips. I felt I needed to just get the vanilla install going, and I shouldn’t improve something I wasn’t familiar with, just to improve it.

No sense in optimizing images and program speed from the get go. Just get the application to run, and then go back and optimize.

Slowly getting things in place.

Mostly assembled, about to connect up all the wires.

Almost ready to fire things up!

We have power!

Filament mounted, fed, and ready to go.

Leveling the bed was definitely tricky, but I feel like I got a good handle on it. Did take a few passes, but once I felt comfortable with things… I loaded up a model from the SD card that came with the printer.

I had a few options to pick from (dog, cat, pig), and ultimately went with the dog because it looked to be the fastest (clocking in at 2.5 hours).

And we’re off! Odd lighting is from me, trying to get a photo of the dog being printed out.

A few hours later, we have a dog!

Pretty nice detail. Liz remarked: “You’re going to have a desk full of tchotchkes,” and I really can’t argue with that.

This to me was very cool: seeing the pattern on the bottom of the figure.

Another view of the dog. If you look closely, you can see some of the very thin lines between each layer.

Interesting side note: Liz remarked that the trays she uses for her teeth (she’s doing the Invisiline thing) have a similar pattern. And it seemed as though these were also 3D printed.

There’s a lot of learning for me to do, but it’s exciting to be at a point where I can now play around with printing objects on a whim.

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