The Makerspace has two 3D printers, the Ultimaker2+ and the Slightly higher Ultimaker2 extended+
For the design of 3D models, the following software can be used:
- Open scad - Openscad is a open source software for creating solid 3D Cad objects (available on Wndows, MacOS and Unix/Linux). Openscad is a scripting language
- Fusion 360 Fusion 360 is an integrated CAD/CAM/CAE software to design 3D models. For personal use it is free of charge (available on Windows, MacOS)
- Tinkercad Tinkercad is a free, easy-to-use app for 3D design, electronics, and coding.
Using a SD memory card
The Ultimaker printers at the Space need a GCODE file as input. You can put your GCODE files on a SD memory card and insert the memory card directly in one of the Ultimaker 3D printer. The memory cardslot is on the front of the printer.fat32
- If you need to format your SD memory card (e.g. on MacOS), choose FAT32 and Master Boot Record (MBR)
If you have a design file e.g. from Internet or a design program you need to convert your file, to the GCODE format or Ultimaker 3D printers can work with. STL is a common file file format and the easiest to to convert to GCODE. If you have a design in an other format it is possible to first convert this to the STL file format. Search with google for online conversion tools. (If you find a conversion tool, that gives good results, feel free to add URL here)
STL file can be converted into a GCODE by:
- Cura Cura is used to slice the model and prepare the GCODE (file extension .NGO)
- Slic3r Slic3r is used to slice the model and prepare the GCODE.
Using a laptop
There is also the option to directly print from your laptop, without using a memory card.
- PrintRun allows direct control of the printer and offer more opportunities than Cura/Slic3r. The GCODE file is uploaded via the USB connection on the backside of the printer.
The printing process
Once you have your printable GCODE file on a SD memory card, or your laptop ready and connected, goto Ultimaker2 for a step by step tutorial of the 3D printing process.
The two white Ultimaker 3D printers are one of the few machines that can run unattended/during the night (this is a big no-no for virtually every other machines) provided that the following rules are followed:
- Only on the 2 ultimaker 3D printers
- Only with Ultimaker approved/listed material (e.g. normal PLA, etc with normal settings)
- You must stay with the printer for the first 10 layers or 15 minutes or so.
- You must accept that another member removes your print when it is finished (or failed).
- You should plan to remove your print soon (i.e. next morning).
- You are encouraged to leave a note with your name or email address.
And make sure you have enough PLA on the spool and check that it won't tangle as it unrolls.