3D Printing Update: Thrills & Spills!

Michael B. Musgrove
5 min readJul 24, 2021

The Ups and Downs of 3D Printing

This post is more of a flag in the roadway of how I’m doing and what I’ve learned so far. I’ve had this printer for a couple of months now, and run it almost non-stop. Along the way, I’ve been trying to find and learn the appropriate software, and find the best forums, designers, videos, and resources along the way. As with a lot of “new” technology, there’s a lot of great things available, some necessary things, a lot of dead ends where people were excited about their new “hobby” but didn’t have the sustain needed to keep the dream alive and there are artifacts left all over the internet.

Not surprisingly, there are a lot of engineers and tinkerers that have gravitated to the 3d printing space and ecosystem. That’s great. It for sure is a technical hobby. And not just industrial engineers but software engineers. There’s a brackish mixture of hardware and software knowledge that must be learned. Which is something that attracts me. I love working with both my too-big hands and my puny brain.

That can be seen by another side project I built for my daughter which is this marble rollercoaster that’s motorized, with lights:

I also hooked up a Raspberry Pi 2 computer I had lying around from years ago that I had forgotten about to create a print server for my 3D printer, so it doesn’t have to be connected to my laptop. In my uncanny foresight years ago, I also bought a wireless dongle so I can hook it up to an IP address and WiFi signal here in my house. It has an SD card reader, which I have a lot of with huge memories on them, considering what was “huge” when I got the Raspberry 2(I think it’s a “B” model). I also found a Raspberry Pi 1 I got right when they came out and were hard to find. I had it shipped from England, I remember. I leapfrogged it pretty quickly, but also has a Raspberry PI SD card reader and case that fits it made just for the original Pi. It’s like having a Ford Model A in the garage.

I can send print jobs to it remotely, check on it with my laptop or even phone from anywhere, and have a camera watching it with an AI…

Michael B. Musgrove

Featured in HBR (Oct. 11), MBA, published author and marketing professor. To start with.