3D printing

A 3D printer: both a blessing and a curse

Tip: You may wanna think twice before buying a printer that’s not already assembled. Time is money and assembling a 3D printer costs a lot

The simple thought of writing this article reminds me of a story regarding why time worths money. Let me shed some light on this one.

I’m working with WordPress on a daily basis. In fact, I’m a proud support folk @Pixelgrade. One day, I found an article written by another WordPress theme creator. The topic was crystal clear: is a cheaper theme a good idea?

The whole point was that you can choose a product between $15 and $225. If you end up using the first one, there are many chances that you will need a couple hours to get your head around and scratch the surface. This amount of time is highly valuable since you can use it in a bunch of different ways: earning extra money, spending it with some great friends, watching a movie. On the other hand, using a premium WordPress theme that solves a real problem can save you from a lot of headaches. Once again, time is money.

Now back to the main point of this story. Few days ago I ordered an Anet A8 (don’t worry, there’s no ad or affiliate link) 3D printer from There were a couple of problems until I got my hands on it (the filament was out of stock and nobody announced me about this but this is another story). As you may (or may not) know, you only get a small box filled with all kinds of pieces. At the end of the day, you need to transform something like this:

into a functional and easy-to-use tool. Well, it will take you around 7 or 8 hours. At least, this was my particular case. Yet, I still have a bag full of screws.

You’ll say: well, it’s not a really big problem. But wait, there’s more: it takes you another hour (or two, maybe) to calibrate the printer, fix the bed, find out how to change the filament and a couple of other tweaks. I would have definitely skipped this part for, let’s say, another $100. In other words, I would blindly pay the higher price for a WordPress theme as well.

Once you start using it, calibrating comes back at you over and over again. Each printing needs its own setup. Yes, the printer works very well, at least I like to believe so. However, did anyone paid any thought about the guy like me who wanted to have fun with a 3D printer (for a lower price)? Not really, to be honest.

All in all, it’s my first rodeo with a 3D printer and I have to say that I learned a lot by assembling and using this particular printer. For those who are looking for a cheap toy to start with, I think that this is a great choice.

The first piece that I printed is a demo called “box-1” but I really think that looks more like a soap holder. Some other pieces are on the way, so stay tuned!

P.S. Thingiverse is a pretty good website to get free 3D templates. Is there any other place with a 3D free collection?

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