This guide is aimed at new people looking to get into 3D printing and is a collection of articles and videos that helped me getting starting. It is mostly aimed at setting up your new Artillery 3D printers, be it the Genius or Sidewinder X1 but the same principles apply to most cartesian 3D printers. Inspiration came from the repeating questions in the Artillery Genius facebook group, people seem to have the same issues and ask the same questions mostly due to the fact that they don’t understand the process of 3D printing in general, have not read the basics, or did not check/calibrate their printers.
If you buy a 3D printer and expect it to ‘just work’ prepare to be disappointed. Unless you spend at least 800 EUR on a Prusa i3 MK3S (and not even that will guarantee a perfect print each time) your under $300 Chinese 3D printer won’t perform out of the box like in the reviews you read or watched. The reviewers have a lot of experience, understand how everything works and know how to tune those devices to perform best. Quality control of products coming from China is getting better but it’s far form perfect so issues like a loose screw, unplugged cable, broken components etc. are still pretty common.
And your failure to print might not even be the fault of the printer. It might very well be a bad filament, wrong slicer settings, the draft in your room or the fact that you placed your greasy hands all over the bed and did not bother to clean it properly before printing.
If you don’t take time to understand how the whole 3D printing process works, finding the culprit for your issue can take a lot of time and frustration. So be prepared to spend a few days learning a bit about the mechanics, electronics and software development involved in 3D printing.
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.
Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
Reading all this will help you understand all the actors involved in the 3D printing so that when you run into an issue, if you can’t figure it out yourself you can at least ask a more experienced user the right questions.
Next step: How 3D printing works
Deep dive on topics I considered important and I noticed beginers are struggling with understanding, but also some advanced topics and experiments I did. Newer ones are first but this does not mean they are in a particular order of importance. Most are already linked throughout the main guide.