3d printing

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Revision as of 19:01, 9 June 2013 by Matt (talk | contribs)

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The Fab Lab has a Makerbot Replicator 2 for 3D printing using PLA plastic.

Watch out - experimental advice - not road tested!


The replicator 2 is a relatively easy and straightforward machine to use. BUT please ask someone who has used it before to show you how before trying it.

Import stuff before you start including what software to use

Typical workflow (how to design and print something)

  1. In OpenSCAD design an object - this is done by writing a little program to describe it. This is very easy and very efficient, eg.
    // linos compatible plate with 30mm hole
    	// the cube 
    	// the stuff we remove 

    When you're happy use OpenSCAD to save in the .STL format

  2. Turn the .STL into .x3g
    1. Load the .STL file in replicatorg
      NB: Make sure replicatorg is set for the correct printer (machine:machine type (driver):replicator 2).
    2. Use the GCode:estimate function to estimate how long your design will take to print - do you really want to do this?
    3. Select generate .gcode (or click the ->gcode button), this will typically take a few minutes. This should spot if your design has -ve height - allow replicatorg to fix this. Get a cup of tea.
    4. Generate the .x3g file - press the ->document icon (Build file for SD card, located next to ->gcode button). Make sure you select .x3g".
    5. Check the .gcode with RepitierHost
      Simply load the .gcode file and check it layer by layer to make sure you are happy.
  3. Put your .x3g file onto an SD card. Take to the printer, insert and print.