One morning I walk into the office and I’m told: “I ordered a 3D Printer kit for you to assemble ”. Being new at Voltivo and to the world of 3D Printing, my boss Oliver decided I should assemble a 3D Printer all by myself. I liked to play Lego as a child and ikea as an adult, so I was happy and said “sure!”

We are in Taiwan, so the easiest thing in the world would have been to order one on the Chinese eBay (on steroids) Taobao for about US$300 and have it delivered within a couple of days but that was not what happened. Oliver decided the only possible choice was a Prusa Original for over twice the price and coming all the way from the T from halfway around the world. Turns out it was a good choice!

The printer kit arrived 3 days later

the unpacking was exciting, then quite quickly became daunting.

Wow, that’s a lot of parts! Oh and all the tools are provided, cool.

I started looking at the online manual which is both modern and impractical if you don’t have a laptop or big tablet next to where you build. It’s well made, lot’s of pictures, colour coded, a little criticism would be that a few pictures have not been updated but but it’s really nothing. So, keeping in mind the Zen saying ”There is no complex operation that cannot be divided into a multitude of simple ones”” I started what would become the Y axis:

Basic shapes were starting to emerge

Actually fitting together

Big parts come into play

and out again

“Taking shape nicely” I thought, well at the time I did not realise it but this was actually completely wrong! See the cluster of black screws on the Y axis? They are at the wrong end… or so I would discover much, much later.

Progress:

More progress:

Getting serious:

Motors are on:

Starting to resemble a 3D Printer :

Almost there (no, not really!)

That’s the X axis right? looks crooked but it’s gonna be fine (I hope)

Yep, we are good (except for the part that is completely wrong, but I don’t know that yet):

Does not look like much but it is super important, the extruder!

And the Z axis is on, Yeah! Yep, that’’s a lot of cables

That part actually broke off the print fan mount as I tried to drive a screw into the hole that was not big enough, but superglue is your friend!

Theory:

Practise:

Tidying away some of the cables… Thanks goodness, I did not zip tie them all down!

Now the screen

X axis can move

The “hot zone” or will be soon.

Now the heatbed is on… Could it be that there are even more cables than before?

That is looking like a lot of cables, sorry got a little scary at that point thinking that they will all need to be connected to something

Cables start getting plugged in after going the the side of the casing. Important note on the casing where the electronics are housed, if I’m honest it is the only part I don’t like about the i3, it’s flimsy…. but it seems to works.

more wiring

Wait, is that not completely on the wrong freaking side?

Well, we need to take the whole Z axis off, yep the big metal plate that holds all the wiring, the Y axis, most the motors…. did I mention all those cables?? I was so glad I did not zip tie all the cables down, I would have had to cut 3 times as many off! In the end it was not as I bad as I feared but it took all four of our hands to lift the whole printer in the air, while moving the screw cluster all the way to the other end. So no free hands for pictures, sorry!

Ah, that’s better

And we start printing, yeah!

We are printing a cube:

It’s fast, accurate, we love our Prusa i3

Celebratory beer during office hours (yep, we are German)!

Glorious Prusa i3 with Voltivo ExcelFil™ Signal Orange in Prusa’s honour!

If you’d like to buy a Prusa i3 you can go here

To buy some Voltivo ExcelFil 3D Filament please go here