I have a second 3D printer! Now if my first 2D printer would work I would be so much farther along with a couple of projects. Excuses excuses! 

Because I have ambitions that extend past the moon (if you stack them just right and the wind blows south-by-northeast at 1.287(pi) Moosen Per Hillside) I bought a second 3D printer to start production while I get my other printer tuned and running:

Yep. A WanHao Duplicator i3 variant. this is the v2.1 style- PowerSpec variant, I'm only aware of it being sold through Micro Center, but I could be wrong. It comes with a heated bed, One hundred grams of black 1.75mm PLA filament, a micro SD card with a couple of example g-codes, a spare/replacement heating mat/build surface, oversize bed leveling thumbscrews, a "broken down" One-Piece construction (plans to aid this are in the very initial modelling phase), and a power cord. There are six M5 screws you need to use to mount the X and Z chassis to the Y chassis together as well as mount the spool holder. (The spool holder is, fine. better than the one that came with my kit printer, but I'm still planning to improve this when I can) 

As far as "build-it-youself" printers go, man, this is sitting on, and leaning into, the territory of pre-built systems. I had this together and powered up for leveling in about 15 minutes. A tip: when you finish assembly, leave the Z axis alone and just click on "Home All" under Quick Settings. also, don't go and pre-heat for PLA or ABS when you're just leveling. I have a nasty burn on my hand from bumping into the nozzle accidentally. Anyways, once it's homed, kill the power and level by manual X and Y movement.it's far faster, and as long as you're gentle, should get you very acceptable results. you can always fine-tune when powered, if you'd like. 

Now that I had it homed and the left bank leveled, it was time for the right. there was an issue, most likely due to transport or the nut behind the control knob, but the right side of the Z axis was way far away from the bed. After a minute or two of consulting the manuals (yes, i took a shower after I did that...) i eventually said "Screw it" and just pushed - harder than I expected - on the offending carriage and nudged it down about seven or eight millimeters. The stepper motor started to turn on the lead screw and I just maintained that pressure until I had deemed I'd traveled enough. (later forum study reveals this to be a faily common problem, and exactly the way ~78% of the users -who retain their printers- fix this issue, the rest either manually turn the stepper - probably the best idea, definitely far more civilized - or one guy built a rig to "goose" the stepper down.) 

Time to start, but where to start? Well, there was a file listed as "Bot.gcode," and who would I be to deny my kinsman of biodegradable existence? I hit print, watched the first... ten layers? and went to bed. Four hours later with my 6am alarm screaming in my ear I had a 1-3/8 inch tall companion sporting Gonk droid style feet, corrugated arms, Lego hands... I actually have not tested to see if the stock Bot can hold Lego things, what I have I done with my life?... Regardless, he looks like this:

There was a little support material connecting his fingertips to his thighs, but that came off with short persuasion. 

That went GREAT! What's next? This had me thinking, I printed an upgraded fan shroud that I later realized I need some extra hardware that I just haven't bought yet. 

Halfway through printing that I remembered an old project of mine, after running to the basement to retrieve the box, i broke out a mound of PC fans. 

I used to wedge a box fan in the window during the summer to keep the bedroom a Balmy 88 degrees in the middle of the day. but occasionally it would fall out of balance and periodically shake out and onto the floor. i dreamed of arranging a pile of pc fans in the window as a slimline box fan. many of those fans have since left us, and a handful of these are 3+ wires so I'm left with a little pile of fans that will start me off:

After taking some quick measurements, I found a 12x12x16mm prism would fit within all but one of the fan mounting brackets. so i modeled up a 4 hole square with rounded corners and had a perfectly usable model.

I threw a single one on the printer and, 15 minutes later, i was left with a wonderful little internal bracket.

Now what? well, they were so quick, let's make 26 of them I'll use them eventually. 

My plan comes together. As these started to print, I ran to the local hardware store to buy some (albeit still too long) shorter hardware than the 2" pieces I had initially. They were done by the time i got home

Assembly is a little tight, but that just means they don't move without you. once i got through with the core assembly, i realized I would need some 2x braces for the outer perimeter so i popped open my original file and cut it in half. and rounded the corners for good measure. I ran these through the printer and only made a few more than I needed this time. 

CHADAAA!!!! The main assembly is done. I paid attention to flow and faced all of the wires and 6-32 extra length hardware out the exhaust. All that's left is wiring but that's boring so let's print more things. 

Thinking about my Ready Player One Cosplay plans, one of the things i wanted was a Shoulder Cannon from Predator so I found a 3d model on Thingiverse, cut it in half, not the right way, but it is in half.

Twenty Six hours later (yes, I went way too high of a resolution on this...) I had my cannon. smaller than I'd like it, I scaled it up to 120% and printed another.

Much better. This is where I found out that the laser diodes I purchased (and had delivered) while this was printing were perfectly sized for the little turret light thing on the left side (if you were holding this as a pistol, as if to shoot a can.) so that came out great. {Psst! The full write-up of the predator build is Over Here!}

What's next? As I modified the current cannon to house the electronics without much external modification, I settled on the first few parts of Johnny Five! 

How about some of the Mouse Droid parts I need?

Hey! Imperial Slime-o Dr. SciFi needs a Radio Flag for his ID10 droid! Let's make some of those! 

It's currently the middle of winter here and the only really open spot for 3d printers is right next to the window, so I built a box just like Sensei Doran showed me. 

Well, not quire exactly, but close enough, I want to shave it down some to gain the extra inch of desk space, but other than that, i love this setup. i have some extra filament storage asunder, and i can keep the controller underneath it as well. the insulation adds a more controlled environment, which helps with shrinkage/warpage. Time to dig into ABS plastic. then we can get into the HIPS and Acetal filaments I have. 

As far as the printer goes, the modifications i've made are as follows:

Box, because box,

Bowden tube, to keep things clean and untangled. this was a funnel-flange I designed and printed and complete kit off of amazon. all i had to do was open up the hole in the stock tensioner and thread it to M6. I designed the threads in the flange and chased them with the tap for good measure. The flange was printed in ALGIX Red APLA (Algae-based PLA) and I may have been printing it too cold. this was the only one of seven red prints that made it 100%

Micro-SD card to SD card extension/adapter cable, because the slot on the control box is on the wrong side for me. 

The only things I have left to do to it are add a temperature regulator to the enclosure, add lights to the enclosure, reinforce the Bowden tube flange from the inside, re-make the back of the controller to add a wiring harness to the rails. and I'd like to flip the y axis completely so that it spits the model out forward. It's not a big deal right now, but still useful, especially because it's in a box. the lights will be some LEDs i have lying around. and I may end up painting the inside of the box white, just in case I ever actually set up that remote monitor. I'd love to have a Livestream Cam whenever I'm printing, some people like watching it, but I'd rather have one to know if the print fails while I'm at work. Once I get that set up, i want to make a remote interface that I can kill the printer with. ntil then, however, it's a waiting game...