There is no better way to really dive into a hobby such as 3D printing than to just pick a big project and power through it. For this, I chose a handcannon from the video game Destiny 2 called the SunShot. It is complex, and required a lot of printing, sanding and painting for it to turn out well.
When working on a project like this, it always helps to bring along a friend so you can both do it together. My younger brother is also into 3D printing, and so I challenged him to print a handcannon as well, and then we would both meet up and paint them together.
The following is a gallery of images from start to finish, with some of them having specific comments about what I learned from those parts of the process. I also included the shots of the revolver-style handcannon (The Last Word) that my brother printed. They both turned out awesome.