Pursuing a 3D printing hobby while living in the Rust Belt

September 4, 2017

I finally got around setting up my 3D printer over the Labor Day weekend. I needed the printer for my World Maker Faire preparations (Psst.. Stop by our booth if you are in the area).

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Since my move to Buffalo, I haven’t unpacked all of my boxes and I cannot locate some accessories like 3D print removal tool, Kapton tape etc. I tried removing the first print using a pair of scissors and cut my fingers.

I decided to get a 3D print removal tool and I could find only one store in Buffalo that sold 3D printer accessories. You can visit the store only by appointment. 

The alternatives were Micro Center in Cleveland or Amazon. I chose the former and drove to Cleveland (I am a bit crazy). Micro center is an official distributor of the Raspberry Pi and they carry everything from Arduinos to 3D printers, filaments and other accessories.

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Microcenter’s DIY stash

I got a spool of color changing filament, 3D print remover and a Raspberry Pi Zero W.

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I think the options are limited when it comes to in-store purchases related to 3D printing in the Rust Belt. Fry’s electronics has stores in Chicago and Podunk, Indiana. Micro Center has stores sprinkled across Ohio.

It appears that Micro Center’s employees rely heavily on sales commission. Employees chase you around to help and stick a label on your selection. They keep hovering over you and I was not comfortable taking a picture of their 3D printing aisle.

I miss the SF Bay Area as I could have solved my problem by crawling through Craigslist or going to Fry’s Electronics (The Bay Area has about 3 or 4 Fry’s branches).

After a 6 hour trip, I got to put the remover to good use.

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By the way, I forgot to buy some Kapton tape.

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