My 3D Printing Adventures

Hello all!

So in May this year, I received a Monoprice MP Select 3D Printer. So far it has been an interesting experience, and I’d like to take this post to reflect upon what I’ve learned and struggled with. I’d also like to note that my experiences and solutions are my own and that if you want to try them, follow them at your own risk.

So over the past few months, I’ve run into only a few issues, but they have been very repetitive and hard to fix. The worst of these so far include print bed adhesion, nozzle jamming, and severe retraction problems.


By far retraction has been the most challenging problem I’ve faced with my printer. Retraction is when your printer will pull back filament inside the extruder slightly to retrieve pressure from the print head. This help reduce stringing in prints wh en the printer is making non-print moves. My issue arises from the stepper motor that drives the filament; I don’t quite know what is wrong with the motor yet (I’m waiting to get a new one before I disassemble the old one to diagnose it) but I know that it makes an uncomfortable whining noise and doesn’t push or pull the filament enough. This results in prints that have missing sections, very pool infill, separated layers, and many other issues. The only way I’ve found to fix this that actually works is to just turn off retraction when slicing my prints, and use a razor blade to cut off the strings and sand it down later. Hopefully, in the future, I can update and diagnose this feature

Nozzle Jamming

Another issue I have encountered is nozzle jamming, and this was far easier to fix than my last issue. So, my method to fix this issue was to turn up the temperature of my extruder by 10 degrees Celsius. Another option is to drill out the nozzle, my printer came with a small drill bit to clear the opening, but I didn’t want to use this for fear of damaging the printer. And another method is to attach a cleaning piece to your filament as it runs to the extruder, but this only works if your problem is debris jamming the nozzle.

Bed Adhesion

And finally, the easiest to fix issue I’ve had is bed adhesion. Now albeit my solution doesn’t replace the actual BuildTak, but it does fix the issue, and maybe a little too well. The solution to this that I chose was to put rough blue painters tape over my BuildTak to provide a better surface, and then use a glue stick to coat the tape and provide very good adhesion to the print surface. Overall I think that doing this has been the best solution for me rather than modding the printer and adding a removable build surface.

These have just been the issues that I have faced so far. I definitely think that 3D Printing is something more people should get involved in, as this technology is amazing and it has been an absolute blast printing out everything from D&D Miniatures to trumpet mouthpieces or part.

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day!
~ Corbin

Where I’ve been…

Hello all!

I’ve been a bit absent lately, well more for like a few months, but I’ve learned a lot and I’m ready to get back on my blogroll! Over the past few months, I’ve done a bunch of cool things that I’m gonna be putting posts up about, and I want to talk about what my new plan is here.

So the first thing you’ll notice is I have a new blog. My blog was transferred over to a docker container with WordPress and it’s all fresh and shiny now. (It’s also making me get involved with Docker a bit, but that’s a whole other topic.)

Over the past few months, I have…
– Attended MIT Splash and took a TON of really cool courses (And explored the gorgeous campus with my friends!)
– Contacted a professor and secured a research opportunity
– Taught myself some new cool stuff, such as Java and OOP basics
– Started a CS Independent Study where I’ve been learning new material for the AP CSA exam
– Gave a talk at HOPE 2018 and met a bunch of really cool humans
– Got a 3D Printer and have been having tons of fun making things

There have been other smaller events that have been cool, but that’s what I can quickly remember at the moment. Overall it’s been an amazing few months and I’m very happy to get back. I also would like to make a change to my blog, I want to be more personal and show my struggles on problems, show how I’m getting stuck and how I’m trying to solve new problems. And I’d love some input from you wonderful humans too! I’m going to attempt weekly posts again, I’m also gonna be showcasing more basic things I do and my projects rather than just Project Euler problems.

It’s great to be back!

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day!
~ Corbin