why is it that i never really know what i'm doing?

i went to school. got the 27k in debt to prove it. they taught me all kindsa nifty stuff.

and yet, what do i do when an 8 year old pees on the floor in a stream from the self checks to the kids computers? (and just how big is an 8 year old's bladder anyway?) what do i do when a man with garlic and steak breath professes his undying love to me. again. for the 3rd time today.
this is a chronicle of what i did, when the crazy happened. which, in a public library is much more often than you'd think. and which, they also don't teach you about in liberry skool.

check out my YouTube Channel for live videos of liberry craziness!

oh, and there's also a book review or two.

Monday, April 14, 2014

never walk away from your 3D printer

so, back to that 3D printing being hard.
confession: the makerbot was locked away for MONTHS because i busted it. i printed a big job and walked away. unfortunately the build plate wasn't completely level and when i came back the next day, a HUGE glob of PLA was glomped all up on the extruder and had gone up into the fan and other parts and then dried.

the insulator and instructions
what was left of the glob from one side
i turned the printer back on and heated the extruder and was able to get the bulk of it off, but the remainder was still there, still stuck, still red as hell. why did i pick red PLA? red is the color of my mistake.

so, i called makerbot and asked them to send me some new insulator. the insulator material just goes around the extruder. it in no way at all was needed at this point, but i had to do something. then, i waited for it to come in and thought about how the hell i was going to get all that PLA off the extruder, fans and such.

soldering iron, meet PLA!!
so, after 2 months i finally hit on the brilliant idea of melting it off with a crappy old soldering iron. we got new soldering irons with lovely new tips, so who cares what happens to this one! yay! i am a freakin' genius. so, i plugged it in and started melting. and it worked. ok, no, it didn't work at all.

this looks worse. much much worse.
turns out that PLA is designed to melt at a very specific temperature range. once it is out of this range, it immediately cools and hardens. i totally knew this already. so the soldering iron melted the PLA, but not for long enough for me to pull it or scrape it off. so i held it there longer.

and i set it on fire.

yep, fire.

as in flames and smoke. in my office.

And I print too!!
so, when my husband called to ask what we were having for dinner, i was SUPER frustrated to say the least. bless him, he came down after work and helped me. he melted, he pulled, he scraped and he cussed and now, i have a clean 3D printer! here is the evidence:

Look at me! I'm so clean!!

So, the moral of the story is thus;
don't get a 3D printer unless you are married.


  1. So 3D printing is like baking? Never leave the kitchen? Got that since I won't be "getting" a husband!

    1. LOL, depends on your printer expertise. i was still a newbie and didn't know some of the things i know now. but i'm not one to trust, i once got to the store and realized i had to call home because i'd left banana bread baking in the oven:)