Szymon Kaliski

FLSUN i3 3D printer

I’ve been debating getting a 3D printer for quite some time, I thought that I might not use it that much to justify the expense. This year, while doing one-project-a-month, my attitude towards this changed, and I realised that buying things that push me forward and make me learn is always worth the money.

Hardware

I found a cheap Prusa i3 clone from FLSUN and ordered the DIY kit for November's project. Assembling the printer was a great fun as I love hardware projects and working with my hands. I've spent a few enjoyable long evenings listening to podcasts and screwing it together.

Parts of instructions were hard to decipher (mostly due to not the greatest English translation) but overall, I managed to build it without any bigger problems. Some of the connecting cables are very short (for example LCD connection to main board), so placing everything neatly on the frame was a bit of a challenge.

Software

One of the biggest problems was connecting the printer to OSX. I've wasted a few hours loading kext's by hand trying to force OSX to see the device, and finally, I stumbled upon this thread on RepRap forum, and this driver for MKS Gen_L v1.0 board that the printer came with.

Instructions attached to the printer recommend use of Repetier for printing, and Slic3r for slicing, but I've found that the recommended configuration setup is at best confusing (there are different settings presented as the recommended ones in different README files).

Luckily, someone on the FLSUN Facebook group suggested Ultimaker Cura as a replacement, since FLSUN i3 is compatible with Prusa i3. Cura was much simpler to set up, and produced better print than combination of Slic3r and Repetier did for me.

Fin.

I'm pretty happy with my printer, and like I hoped, my ideas list grew with a few new entries while assembling and using it.

So far I only made a few test prints including simple spool holder, and I plan on using it for making enclosure for my December project. This will require getting into 3D modeling, and I'm excited to learn!