Need a kick start in 3D printing with MPCNC

I am very glad, I have been able to put together my new MPCNC and perform the basic and intermediate test. The rest is experience and I am ready to put time and effort.
When come time to use it as a 3D printer, I am missing some of the basic. It seems that I need a glass of some sort to print on it. Is it a special glass? How critical this needs to be level and what is the best way? In short I need a basic step by step procedure just like the one I had to carve my first wood part but for printing my first piece. I would like to print one part of the MPCNC and reproduce the one I bought from this site.

Just a little kick in the right direction would be appreciated.

As odd as it seems 3D printing seems much more complicated to me that milling/routing. Milling mistakes to me are more intuitive.

As you know there are tons of things to learn with 3D printing. Feel free to ask all the questions you need, maybe not a giant list but one or two at a time :-). All this info is out there so I never put it on the site.

You can use regular glass (I use the cheap stuff from the hardware store), borosilicate is the prefered kind it handles heat differences better. The trick is what you put on top of the glass. PEI is the new hot thing (it is awesome), purple aquanet hairspray, glue stick, blue 3m painters tape, whatever.

Leveling it critical that is why almost all beds are mounted on 3 springs. 3 is the easiest to level and soft springs give a little safety net in case you crash into the glass.

Learn with PLA, all other materials are much more finicky.

You may want to spend some time on youtube to learn the basics. I recommend you the youtube channel of Thomas Sanladerer, which, in my opinion, is one of the absolute references on this matter:

Many, many videos to watch there.

To answer your questions:
-Any basic glass should work just fine. But I highly recommend that you get a hot plate under it, since printing of cold glass is really a hassle, especially for a beginner. So find yourself a cheap hot plate and install it first (if not already done). Personnally I print directly on the hot glass (around 50 degree C for PLA), after putting a bit of glue using a standard glue stick. No need for any fancy stuff, this method works perfectly, is dirt cheap and leaves a beautiful glossy finish. As Vicious1 said, start by using PLA, other plastics are more difficult to print. And PLA is actually an awesome plastic, very rigid. I prefer it over most others for 90% of my applications.

-Leveling is essential. If your printer bed is not leveled your print will be ruined. Either they wont stick on the bed, either they will warp or deform. Personnally I always use the bed autoleveling feature, but it is maybe too hard to set up the first time for a beginner. Just follow the standard procedure of bed leveling, it is no rocket science. But, yeah, this is critical.

for just basic printing in PLA, you can use any plane surface (glass,acrylic,etc) and apply blue painters tape, prints will stick well to that.
I used acrylic with blue tape on with my Ultimaker for 4 years without problems with PLA. Its important the surface is clean, even moist from fingers makes it stick less, so clean with alcohol or similar.

Print the first layers very slow…you can speed up print speed after 3-4 layers but I recommend printing with 25-30mm/s for strong prints.

Like the others said, get the surface level to the printer nozzle.

Thanks to everybody for the advice, what I can see 3D printing require a whole new skill set and a specific installation either. My feeling is that my first job after I master the basics would be to “print” a second set of parts to build another MPCNC dedicated to 3D printing. Probably a smaller footprint but higher in the Z axiz. It seems that milling one day and 3D print the next day would be feasable but not very practical/productive.
Ryan: there is another order coming at you :slight_smile: at least for the missing part I need to start (I order the extruder but forgot the additional stepper driver :wink:
Another question are all the PLA filament born equal? Is getting the best price the only thing I should look for or if there are other parameters to check? What is your recommended supplier? (by the way I am Canadian).

Thanks for your patience

The first thing you should print is probably some calibration objects. Once your printer is humming, you can make some functional parts like the MPCNC.

I personally like this guide:’s_Calibration_Guide

I also like this page, which is more of a reference when you’re trying to troubleshoot, although posting pics here is a good choice too:

There are more than one ways to skin a cat, so don’t be surprised by contradictory information.

PLA isn’t created equal, but different people prefer different stuff. I like hatchbox PLA from Amazon, but when thing are out of stock, they charge a fortune, so just find a cheaper color. Don’t start with anything weird like wood PLA.

Well if you have an MPCNC and are considering another, the MP3DP prints better (build it yourself) or the cadillac of all printers the new Prusa i3 (buy it)…

I have swapped between printing and milling and laser all in the same day plenty of times, then I just built another mpcnc, then another printer, then another…vicious circle… 3 mpcnc’s and 7 printers later…

So your saying that for a dedicated 3D printer, I would be better off with a MP3DP. I can understand that for a small footprint, the 3/4" EMT frame is a bit overkill. At least I have a machine to print all the needed parts.
How much that the whole project cost?
Should I use MDF for the frame or multi layers plywood?

If you want a dedicated 3d printer you should buy or build one, the MPCNC is a multi-machine, good at everything but not the best at anything. Dedicated 3d printers have less moving mass, meaning they can print faster, with higher accelerations resulting in a better quality print.

Cost depends on your country and the parts you choose.

Frame material doesn’t really matter that much.