MakerBot/Printing Instructions

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Target Audience[edit | edit source]

Someone who has never used 3D printer before

Starting Point[edit | edit source]

  Draw something in  Solid Edge, 123D, 3Dtin, Sketchup, 
        Sculptris, tinkercad,openscad, wings3d, pov-ray, 
        Heeks-cad, art of illusion, processing model building library, 
  Scan something with 3D scanner (don't have one yet)
  Download already drawn file from thingiverse, traceparts, 3Dwarehouse

Have to find/export/save the file in *.stl, *.OBJ, or *.thing format. *.thing is very uncommon, and fairly specific to makerware.

Decide what to print on[edit | edit source]

blob destruction

Can print on: build plate itself (plexiglass), blue painters tape, and double sided tape.

Can print with raft.

The default is blue painters tape.

If there are many pieces scattered about the build plate, worry. Use raft. Or use double sided tape. If you don't, the PLA will curl. As the print head moves from one object to another it will make a clicking sound as it moves onto an object. Eventually the object will be kicked off. (video])

Fuzz that can occur when makerbot tries to print in mid air

The makerbot will then begin to print fuzz in mid air, it will catch to the nozzle, drag other pieces off, and in the worst case scenario a blob of PLA will clog up the print head.

If there are tall objects with very little contact with the build plate ... for example 1/4 square connected to the build plate, but 1.5 inches high, then go with a raft.

You have to make this decision before getting into Makerware.

Makerware Preview[edit | edit source]

Check that the temperature is 230°C or less. If it is more, then the duty cycle of the heater is messed up and it can actually run colder which can clog the print head.

To see a preview of what your sliced file looks like before printing, select the Print Preview checkbox at the bottom of the expanded Make dialog. When you click Make it! or Export!, MakerWare will slice the file and open the Toolpath Visualization window.

What you are looking for are triangles. STL files can contain mistakes (depending on how they were created) that will randomly fill holes, and put triangles where there are none in any visual rendering of the object. You can clean things up with netfabb ].

Procedure Create xg3 file on SD card[edit | edit source]

Choose an SD card. They are numbered.

In the dialog box, click EXPORT FILE. It will allow you to save it to wherever you want. Select your SD Card and save it on it.

Write the printout on the queu and fill in the columns. This is so we can keep the makerbot running continually. When done, someone will write the print time so you know approximately how many resources you used.

Level the Build Platform[edit | edit source]

Take the build platform out and change the tape if needed. When changing from blue tape to something else, it becomes even more important to level.

Level anyway so you can get a feel for the process.

Put the build platform back in and level it.

Level with the thick Popular Science 20 - In - 1 Shop guide.

Level until pushing the thick guide underneath the print head causes the build plate to move downward ... (it is on springs) .... just a little.

Have someone show you the menu options and get a feel for how the thick guide slides underneath the nozzle.

The major problem is that the print head clogs ... it acts like it is printing but nothing is coming out.

This occurs when the nozzle is too close to the build plate. Error on the side of making the template too loose.

Changing Filament[edit | edit source]

Clogging occurs most often while changing the pla color.

Make sure you use the unload function. Follow the instructions. Don't just pull the filament out ... if it breaks .. a clog is created.

When inserting new filament, do not start pushing until the print head is up to temperature (near 230°C). Otherwise the new filament you are inserting could break and clog the print head.

After changing the filament, extrude until the color changes. Multiple colors may not mix well and cause clogs.

Extrude for 30 seconds[edit | edit source]

Only extrude when the build plate is at the bottom of the printer. To move the build plate to the bottom of the printer, go into Jog mode. Hit middle "M" button several times to get to +Z -Z ,, press +Z to move down.

To extrude ... go to change filament ... then load ...

Procedure Starting Printing from SD card[edit | edit source]

  1. Insert the SD card into the Makerbot.
  2. Use the Arrows on the Menu Board surrounding the Red 'M'
  3. Select BUILD FROM SD CARD on the LCD panel.
  4. Choose the object you wish to build by pressing the 'M' to start the Makerbot
  5. Watch the temperature as it is printing .. default is 230°C ... if it drops below 224°C abort the print job. Hit the black area to the left of the M button on the control panel. Don't let it print cold. You risk clogging up the print head.
  6. If it starts moving around, but printing nothing, panic. Stop and try extruding.

Procedure Clean Up[edit | edit source]

  1. Step Learn what build platform is, locate the shark, point to the raft, video
  2. Step Remove the raft video
  3. Step Remove major support video
  4. Step Remove minior support video
  5. Step Inspect the result, look at the pile of debris video