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Revision as of 18:03, 17 September 2020 by BartV (talk | contribs) (Using a SD memory card)
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This equipment is safety category 3:

  • Mandatory, in person, instructions.
  • Make sure you read the Wiki before asking.

This equipment is Noise Category 3: Can be used at all hours. No limits.

This equipment can be left on overnight/ran unattended -- provided that the instructions on this page are followed to the letter.

Ultimaker printers

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.

Any CAD software that is able to convert your design into a STL files is suitable for designing for or 3D printers. Alternatives are Sketch and Blender.

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.

Unattended running

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.