In order to continue improving the capabilities of 3D printing, it’s extremely important that the industry looks at the technology from every possible angle. While the future will likely be pioneered by the bright minds of makers and engineers, sometimes the eye of an inexperienced user can show us things we didn’t realize were there.

Back in November, Filaments.directory hosted the Print Settings contest, asking our international user base to upload their own print settings for a chance to win a wide array of great prizes. One of the contest participants was Ian “Izzy” Hiscocks, who ended up winning a Wanhao Duplicator I3 Plus 3D Printer. Ian’s wife, Sue, has been using their new 3D printer to introduce herself to the vast world of desktop 3D printing. Check out her experience below!

 

Sue’s 3D Printing Experience:

Wow great news, Izzy has a won a Wanhao Duplicator I3 Plus 3D Printer in the Filaments Directory November competition. Guess who is going to be using that to start her journey into 3D printing? (Hint, it’s me!)

I did a bit of research by watching various videos on YouTube, and although they said they were for beginners, to me I felt they were not. I know from personal experience that when I was producing an easy guide for a process to me it seemed straightforward but to a complete beginner it is still sometimes daunting. Therefore, I decided to do a vlog on the opening and assembling of my new Wanhao Duplicator I3 Plus. This is a story for beginners, written by a beginner.

So, what do I think? My first impression was “hey, I can do this”. My husband helped with some of the assembly, his additional pair of hands were very useful during that process. It was also handy to read the instructional manual and watch the tutorial videos uploaded on Wanhao’s website. Although they were for the I3 and not the Plus model, it still provided a great deal of help. Regardless of the differences, I was given enough background to assess the adjustments that were required to produce a final print.

Though we were fortunate enough to win the Wanhao Duplicator I3 plus, the low retail price and the high print quality makes it well worth the cost. If anybody was thinking of getting one as an introduction into 3D printing, then this printer will do quite nicely.

Initially inserting the filament is a bit of a struggle, but in reality it is a case of getting a feel for it which will come with experience.

I managed a few prints with the 10m sample of PLA that Wanhao provided. I printed a couple of 3D models supplied by Wanhao, each of which showed great detailing with very little issues with stringing. Izzy also ordered me a reel of premium bronze gold PLA from 3D Filaprint, I will be using it to test future prints and build on my experience. Stay tuned as I continue to learn about 3D printing technology!

Conclusion

As you can see, having an experienced 3D printer user by your side makes it easier for a beginner to acclimate to this technology. But videos, tutorials, and the welcoming 3D printing community can act as a foundation for learning as well. All in all, 3D printing has a learning curve, but novice users can easily overcome this with one main practice: just keep printing.