Recommendation for First Print

I purchased an Ender 3 Pro to give myself and my kids something to tinker with over the summer while isolating. I hope to assemble it this evening/tomorrow, and I’m wondering what I should use for my very first print. I’m thinking a calibration print of some sort. Maybe something to test bed adhesion?

Any recommendations would be much appreciated.

The dog. Don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to print calibration cubes, temperature towers, bed adhesion tests, etc., but for your first, just pick one of the test prints that come with it and see what happens. (Psst, the dog.)
Best of luck, and welcome to the hobby.

Lol. Thanks for the feedback! I got overruled by my kids. We ended up with a calibration cat followed by a short wizard (no love for the dog, I was voting for the dog, BTW).

The prints turned out ok. They have some artifacts that I’m not sure what is causing them, but I’ll see if Google turns up any quick fixes. For the time being my kids have me printing an army of Cali Cats. Artifacts and all :slight_smile: So I can’t really try any tweaks at the moment.

Try these for the kids. Mine love them, and they float in water!

That’s a nice looking print! I get some stringing as well. My first prints were pretty bad, but it’s gotten better. I’m not sure what tweaks affected the stringing though.

I had to google the seam, and I think that may be related what I have going on, but the biggest artifact I’m seeing is horizontal lines. As I understand it, the seam is vertical, correct?

Yes the seam is the vertical spot.
the horizontal lines are part of the process. If you make your layers smaller (0.12mm or 0.16mm) you won’t see them as much, will give more detail but add to print time.
it’s always a trade off quality/ detail vs print time.

The stringing can be tweaked with the Retraction distance (6-8mm is good for most ender3), with retraction speed of 25mm. I also turned on Z hop on retraction and Combing ‘not in skin’. I think the combing not in Skin was the setting to stop the vertical seam, so it doesn’t travel over the skin to get to next layer
the higher temp you print at, the more stringing but the stronger the print I believe.
Also the standard Bowden tube can cause the stringing, upgrading to a Capricon ptfe can improve it.

Excellent video, Irv! I’ll give that tweak a try and see what we get.


I added some filament guides (printed) and did extrusion tests. Basically measure 120mm from where the filament feeds in, Mark it then make the nozzle temp 205 or so. Then on the printer Prepare, move Axis, Extruder and 100mm. Takes a little bit of time. Then measure the filament and see if it’s 20mm left, now you can change extruder esteps. It’s suggested to do the above 3 times and get an average, I just did once.

Mine was 2mm under. 100/98*93=94.89

(e/o) * s
e = expected dimension
o = observed dimension
s = current number of steps per min (93 default)

hope that helps

Hey Maximo101, if you want to save filament while doing this (I saw it in a video today): [LIST=1]

  • pull the filament out of the extruder;
  • clip the end of the filament square;
  • unscrew the bowden tube connector from the extruder;
  • feed the filament back into the extruder until it's flush with the edge of the hole on the output side of the extruder;
  • tell the extractor to feed 100mm of filament;
  • measure the amount of filament that was pushed out of the extruder;
  • use the formula you listed to calculate any changes needed. [/LIST]
  • @Ender5r, would using your method introduce any error due to the extruder not having to push the filament out the nozzle? It may not be enough to matter all things considered. Just curious.

    @AU_Doc. I suspect that’s not an issue. Extruders put so much pressure on the filament they leave indents in the filament. I’m not sure backpressure from the nozzle could much, if any, affect on that. Might be interesting to compare though. If it did make a difference, it might be possible to alter the formula to compensate.

    Those look great!

    I printed another octopus last night that turned out nicely, but my youngest happened to be standing there when the printer finished. So I only saw it long enough to pull it off the build plate. :slight_smile:

    I also modeled and printed my first parts yesterday. Just a simple bearing axle for a filament guide. But it’s still a big step going from nothing to printing a part that actually works.

    The kids also wanted a chameleon, which I managed to get a picture of before they took it :slight_smile: