3D Printers

Downloadable Quick Reference Guide


    Slack: #space-3dprinting

    Email: 3dprinting@makeitlabs.com

    Resource Managers:

        Bill Schongar (Flashforges, Resin Printers, MCor, ZCorp)

        Paul Hardin (Makerbot, Prusa)


FDM Printers

Flashforge Finder (x2)

Flashforge Adventurer 4 (x2)

Makerbot Replicator 2

Prusa i3 MK3 (Currently offline)

Lulzbot Mini (Currently offline)

Resin Printers

Anycubic Photon

Phrozen Sonic Mega 8k

Specialty printers (currently offline)

Zprinter 450

MCor Iris

Getting started

3D Design Software

Anything that exports a valid STL file can be used. Some commonly used packages include:

Preparing a design for printing - "Slicers"

Training for each printer will provide specifics on how to prepare a file for printing, but all leverage software that controls how the printer creates layers or "slices" that make up the object. The general term for this type of software is a "slicer".

Common Questions

1) How long does training take?

The Basic Training for the 3D Touch printer takes less than 30 minutes. At this point you'll be able to print most items which do not have any special considerations.

2) What do you mean "special considerations"?

There's a long list, and you'll learn in the class. In general it means:

3) What does it cost to print something?

For the extrusion based printers, nothing, but if you're using a lot of filament you should donate to the space to help cover filament costs so we don't run out. Remember that many other spaces charge by the hour or the gram; we don't want to have to do that.

For the Zprinter 450, cost is based on amount of material used, and you will be invoiced after your print.  Pricing can be found here

As a cost guideline, during training you'll see how the software automatically calculates both the build time and the materials cost. This can be used to give you an idea of how much your print is costing the space.

4) How long does it take to print something?

It's not quick. Large prints can take hours. So don't use the 3D printer to make something that could easily be cut on the Laser... it's not an efficient use of your time. Build time estimates are provided by the software, as you'll see in class, so you'll know ahead of time how long it will take.

5) Do I have to reserve the printer?

There is currently no reservation system for the 3D Touch printer. If you have a specific need or availability, contact the resource managers and something may be possible.

6) Can I print multiple colors or materials?

The 3D Touch is a dual-extruder model, and can print two different materials (or different colors of the same material). If you have not taken Advanced training for the 3D Touch, you are not authorized to change the filament or filament settings; Contact a resource manager for help.

The Zprinter 450 prints in full color, but only one material (plaster).

7) I want to print in (odd color here) - Do we have that?

Assume the answer is "no". No special consideration for material color is available unless material has been donated, so if you have a specific need your best bet is to contact the Resource Managers and discuss the need. They will then help you find compatible material that you can purchase and use on the printer, with the help of a qualified individual to change the filament and settings.

8) I want to print in (random filament type I read about on the interwebz). Can I do that?

Contact the resource manager(s). If it's compatible and you supply the material, it may be possible... but don't buy any special filament before talking to the resource manager(s)!

9) Do I need to be physically in the space when printing?

Yes, or have someone watching the print for you. It does not need to be watched closely - just check at reasonable intervals to make sure nothing's going wrong. That way if something is wrong you can stop the job before either filament is wasted or the printer is damaged.

The Zprinter 450 can be run unattended at your own risk.  You will still be charged for failed prints, unless the failure is due to an equipment issue (ex: machine breaks down mid print).