Scooting Right Along with My 3D Printing

Michael B. Musgrove
6 min readJul 18, 2021

Lots of little failings here and there, which became annoying so I took a breather and shut the factory down for a bit to regroup. The printer would get to about 30% and then just start ghost printing in thin air with nothing extruding. Or something would become unadhered from the print bed. Always something screwy. I had been changing filaments out a lot too, which may have been causing some issues.

And when I began printing a pretty big project, it would fail, so I’d abort the job, and then find I couldn’t even remove the item from the bed, it was stuck on so good.

So I learned how to remove the heated printer bed, which is a plate of patterned tempered glass. I put it into the freezer(once it had cooled off) and after a few minutes, I was able to pop it off.

The power went off during a storm at about 4:00 am which threw a nice monkey wrench in everything. The more we place our lives into the hand of technology, the more vulnerable we’re making ourselves should just a basic failure like a power shortage happens.

Something that I’m not even how sure to describe also happened the past few days since I’ve chronicled my little endeavors.

When you have a 3D printer, you can send print jobs to it 2 ways. Either by using a micro-SD card, placed into an adapter and into your computer, and place the sliced files->Gcode onto it that way. Or you can use a USB cable and hook your computer up to your printer that way. I’ve been doing it both ways, which is fine as long as I’m sitting here in front of my computer and the printer.

But there’s a more efficient way, for the technology-inclined, which I sort of am. More than I give myself credit for I think.

And that’s by using a Raspberry Pi computer to use a program called Octoprint that was developed over in Lapland and has a huge following and support group. If you begin doing 3D printing, you’ll begin to run into a LOT of videos, articles, and people talking about using Octoprint and how awesome it is. But of course, to run it, you need a Raspberry Pi and a few accessories, since a Raspberry Pi is just a motherboard with some outlets and doohickeys attached, depending on what version Pi you’re using. The most updated is version 4. It’s been in use and was developed around 6 years ago, in my best guess. That’s the I hear of them and became a little interested and dabbled in it. You have/had to know Linux and use a terminal and it’s…

Michael B. Musgrove

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