3D printers are used to make parts with geometry that would be difficult to machine from stock. They use different kinds of thermoplastics to construct objects from 3 dimensional .stl files, typically from laying down successive thin layers of material. The MakerLodge has 4 types of 3D printers: Zortrax M200, Ultimaker 2+, UP! Mini, and Stratasys.
Important Practices & Procedures
- Each printer has its own software. Some may require a serial number, for example the Zortrax.
- Either a USB cable or SD card will be needed to upload files to a printer.
- When positioning your piece, generally you want to minimize the amount of overhang to use less support material and reduce the surface area touching the plate.
- The amount of time it takes to print depends on the size of your part, infill (controls density of the print), and amount of support material needed.
- For support material, 30-45 degrees is a good middle ground for most printers. This feature is enabled when your part has overhang of 45˚ or more. More support material increases time, but also increases quality and lessens warping.
- Always watch the first few layers print to ensure the filament is being deposited correctly.
- If the printer is making unusual noises or no filament is being extruded, stop the print and get a mentor to help.
- Let the machine cool before removing your part.
- Cowhide gloves must be worn when removing your piece.
- Always scrape away from you when using the putty knives.
- Support material should be thrown into the trash.
Click the links below for more detailed information about each of our printers.