Project, Research

Setup Process 4: Printing the GD Cat

I decided to end the night by “simply” starting the cat 3D print and then upgrading Cura. Sounds simple, right? Wrong. OH so WRONG.


After installing the software I could not figure out how to print from my PC, so I decided to put the micro SD card back into the printer and try letting the entire print test go. This seems simple enough, but nothing ever goes according to plan. I went ahead and recorded my thoughts and I think they speak for themselves:

  • ……..I can’t get the SD card back in the printer 😭😭😭😭😭
  • ALL I WANT TO DO IS PRINT THE REST OF THE GD KITTY 😭😭😭😭
  • I shut off the printer, APPARENTLY YOU CAN’T INSERT THE SD CARD WHEN IT IS ON. GOOD TO KNOW 0_0 😡😡😡😡😡 (Edit: yes you can, I found out the following day that my SD card was broken, and SD card problems are common issues for this printer)
  • And the WiFi is broken *verge of tears* YOU WERE WORKING BEFORE. WHY ARE YOU NOT WORKING.
  • ……….so I disconnected the USB link to the PC and the WiFi worked again. It’s still no benefit to me, so eff it, I’m clicking “print” on that gd cat and then updating Cura because it’ll be simple and then I’ll be done for the night 
Oh past-me, you thought updating software would be “easy”?

When updating the Cura software it immediately makes you uninstall the original version of Cura, meaning it was a COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME to install from the SD card. 😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡

After upgrading and going through a million prompts I discovered that another version is available and I will again need to uninstall the version I JUST INSTALLED! FFS HOW MANY OF THESE AM I GOING TO HAVE TO DOWNLOAD???

At this point I ended up going with the Ultimater Cura 3.5.0 (Beta) because I am DONE downloading new versions.

So back to the fun stuff–the cat print!

LOOKCAT!!!! *FLIPS A TABLE*

After 3 hours the lucky cat example file printed.

GOODNESS GRACIOUS ABOUT TIME!!!

Removing it from the print bed was harder than I expected and I broke the base off BECAUSE OF COURSE I DID. 🤦

Why am I like this? 😭😭😭

It was practically impossible to remove this small layer, and I tried multiple online suggestions including waiting for the bed to cool, floss, and finally a razor blade which the internet warned was to be done carefully so as not to cut myself or scratch the print bed.

I successfully got the base detached using the razor blade, but also succeeded in cutting myself AND scratching my print bed. 🤦🤦 (Edit from future me: wait for the bed to cool and then try wiggling the print back and forth. If it’s hard or stubborn or breaks off, then use a spatula tool to peel off what remains).

This came in a Filament Friday kit I bought off Amazon for $20

And with that I now have a cat finger puppet that took me more hours and frustration than it probably would have the average person, but gosh darnit I’m stoked to learn more!!

SUCCESS!

My Next Steps

  • Read through the Ultimaker Cura manual and check out their Ultimaker community
  • Read through the Monoprice Wiki to figure out things like
    • how to print from my PC via WiFi
    • find out if I have to manually preheat the printer every time
  • Based on this “Quick Start” guide below I’m in the process of step 4, so hopefully the cat test print finishes successfully and I can move on to downloading other models and eventually trying my hand at designing my own!

Edit from future-me: 

When I originally started this post, I mistakenly thought that things would go according to a plan…. Instead of doing any of the above “next steps”, I went through a long and terrible rabbit hole of trying to print anything.

I ended up setting up OctoPrint on my Raspberry Pi because my SD card stopped fitting into the printer and I couldn’t get the WiFi or PC tether printing to function.

The next several blog posts go through this terrible journey, but if you’re looking to get this printer up and running yourself, I recommend you skip right to the posts on OctoPrint and save yourself some grief.

Smoosh impersonating the lucky cat print

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