3D Printing

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3D Printing Summary
Shop Captain Dan Dugmore
Contact email [email protected]
Location Upstairs
Check Out Required? Yes
Basecamp link

Basic Shop Rules

  1. A checkout is required to use the shop. Please contact [email protected] to schedule a time.
  2. Privately owned printers may not be used by anyone without the express permission of the owner.
  3. If you encounter an issue (jam, broken parts, etc.) please contact the shop captain and leave a note on the printer.
  4. Never use unknown filament or filament that belongs to someone else without their permission.
  5. Be courteous. This is a shared space, so don't ruin other people's prints to run your own, etc.

Basic Process Flow Overview

Slicing

Acquire a .STL file of the model you wish to print, either by exporting from your favorite CAD package or by downloading it from the internet. If you have a model but it is not in the form of an .STL, it can often be converted using software like Fusion 360, Blender, or Meshmixer.

Open the appropriate slicer software (Simplify3D for general use printers, PrusaControl or Slic3rPE for the shop filament Prusa i3 Mk2s) and import your .STL model.

If you are using PrusaControl, click here: Prusa i3 MK2s

If you are using Simplify3D, click "Edit Process Settings" and make sure the correct Process is selected for the printer you are using. Select the correct filament, set the infill you require (20% is good for most applications), and turn on/off support if needed. Once you are happy with the process settings, press "OK". Next, make sure the model is oriented appropriately on the bed. Double clicking the model will bring up a menu where you can set the position and angle. You can also select "Place Surface on Bed" from the Edit menu, and then click a flat section of the model to orient it quickly. If the model is in a strange location, such as clipped through the bed, it is a good idea to press "Center and Arrange" to automatically move the object into the build area.

When you are ready, press "Prepare to Print". This will generate the toolpaths and give you a preview of how the object will be printed. If this looks okay, press "Save Toolpaths to Disk" and save your .gcode file.

Printing with OctoPrint

Point a browser to the correct URL for the printer you are using. All of the printers are bookmarked in Chrome, so you can just select the correct one from the bookmark bar. Log in if necessary and check that the printer is connected. If you are unable to connect, check that the printer is powered on and plugged into its Raspberry Pi.

Preheat the printer to the correct temperature and load your filament into the printer. When handling filament spools, always be very careful not to allow them to tangle or unwind. Make sure the bed is clear of filament scraps or previous printed parts. Upload your .gcode file to OctoPrint, either by drag-and-dropping the file into the window or by pressing upload and browsing to the file. It can take several minutes for the file to upload. Once the upload is complete, the file should show up in the Files list. Press the folder icon to load the file, then press Print to start printing.

Always stay and watch at least the first layer print. If there is an issue, press Cancel in OctoPrint to stop the job. Once the print is done, wait for the printer to cool down and then remove it carefully with a spatula. Avoid using excess force or digging into the bed as it can be easily damaged. After you are done printing, unload your filament from the printer so it is ready for the next user.

Equipment List

Printers

There are various printers available at different levels of repair. Some are suitable for general use, while others are engineering projects of their own.

Picture Status Manufacturer/Model Manual Materials Class Required Owner
Prusa.jpg Shop Filament Only Prusa i3 MK2s link Shop Filament(PLA) ONLY Yes Lowell Makes
Makerbot.jpg General Use Makerbot Replicator 2 link PLA ONLY Yes Lowell Makes
PrintrbotJr.jpg General Use Printrbot Jr. not available PLA, ABS, PETG Yes Lowell Makes
Monoprice.jpg General Use Monoprice Maker Select Plus link PLA, ABS, PETG Yes Lowell Makes
Advanced Hypercobble n/a PLA, PETG Yes Lowell Makes
Project BotObjects n/a PLA Yes Lowell Makes
Other RepRap Prusa Mendel n/a PLA Yes Lowell Makes
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