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3D PRINTERS DOCUMENTATION

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1 / Launch 3D printer's Software

Use Makerware for Makerbots and Cura for all other models.

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2 / Import 3D model

Drag file into the software’s environment or press File > Open/Import

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3 / Position model in the software's digital platform

You can move, rotate and scale your model by using the tools in the software.

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4.0 / Defining the printing parameters

Printing parameters defines speed, quality, temperature and strength of the model to be printed.

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4.1 / Temperature of extrusion

Different filaments require different working temperatures. Many suppliers provide recommendations for their specific plastics.

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4.2 / Resolution (layer height)

As you increase the resolution, you also increase the time it takes to print the model. Plan accordingly.

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4.3 / Infill (percentage of material inside the model)

The more infill the model has, the stronger the final object will be. Use 10% infill if strength is not relevant. 

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4.4 / Printing speed

For special filaments like flexible plastic, it is necessary to print at lower speed to ensure quality. At lower printing speeds, quality increases. 

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4.5 / Supports

Supports are detachable pieces of plastic that make sure that parts of the model which hang are printed correctly. If you are not sure if your model needs supports, check the supports option. 

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4.6 / Rafts

If your model has a small base, using a raft can help your model stay in place during the printing job. Rafts are foundations of plastic that sit between your model and the 3D printer’s platform. 

ADVANCED
4.7 / More parameters

There are much more parameters that can be defined. If you want more information, see “Advanced Features” bottom.

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5 / Turn on 3D printer

Flip the switch in the back of the machine.

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6 / Start printing job

Printing time! It is only the beginning.

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7 / Supervise the first layers

The first layer must adhere to the bed of the 3D printer. If not, the model is not have a proper foundation and the print job will fail.

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7.1 / If first layers print correctly...

You can let the machine printing. Occasionally check the printing job to ensure everything is printing as it should.

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7.2 / If first layers DO NOT print correctly...

It is time for troubleshooting…

CHANGING SPOOLS

You can change the color and materials type by installing different spools of filament. 

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1 / Choose a spool to install

ATTENTION: Only use the spools of filament present in the FabLab. If you bring a new type of material, speak with the FabLab Team.

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2 / Unload filament from 3D printer

UTILITIES > CHANGE FILAMENT > UNLOAD (LEFT OR RIGHT)

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3 / Follow the information in the 3D printer's LCD display

It will tell you all the steps to change the filament.

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4 / Load filament into 3D printer

UTILITIES > CHANGE FILAMENT > LOAD (LEFT OR RIGHT)

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5 / Make sure filament is extruding properly

Check if the previous filament is out of hot end and that the filament is flowing properly. 

Troubleshooting

// LEVELING 3D PRINTER'S PLATFORM

Symptoms: First layer is peeling off from printer’s platform. 

cooldown
1 / Let the 3D printer cool down

This is imperative for your safety and for the sake of calibration.

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2 / Use a sheet of paper between nozzle and platform

Also make sure that the nozzle is clean of any plastic so that the paper can properly slide.

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3 / Locate the calibration screws

There are 4 screws you can turn to rise or lower the platform.

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4 / Run platform leveling script

UTILITIES > LEVEL BUILD PLATE

// CHECK PARAMETERS

Are you sure you are using the correct parameters for the filament you are using? Check out this compreensive troubleshoot guide for FDM 3D printers made by Simplify3D

// CHECKING FILAMENT SPOOL

Symptoms: Filament is not extruding. Motor cannot pull filament due to a knot in the spool. 

check filament
1 / Check if spool is free

Try to turn the spool. If it is stuck, you have to free it.

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2 / Remove the spool and filament from 3D printer

Use the tutorial “Changing spools” to remove the spool.

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3 / Untie the knot

Unroll the filament from the spool until the knot is removed. 

CLOGGED NOZZLE

Symptoms: Filament is only partially being extruded. Plastic is not flowing or is oozing out of the hotend.

clogged
1 / Is it really clogged?

If the 3D printer stops extruding or it is not extruding enough material, probably there is an issue with the extruder head.

1 / Notify the FabLab Staff

This problem implies disassembling the hot end module.

2 / Identity the reason for this problem

This will help to avoid this problem in the future.