3D Printer Farm

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This article is mandatory reading for anyone who would like to 3D print in the DAI Makerspace! If you have a question that is not covered here yet, please let us know.

Two of our printers, Prusa i3 (left) and Kossel (right)
top view of the DAI Makerspace with the location of the 3D printer farm marked in orange
Ciaran and Lukas building one of the Kossels

We currently have five 3D printers:

All of these printers use "fused filament fabrication" (FFF, a.k.a. FDM) and are therefore limited to thermoplastics as materials. Lots of cool things can be made with this technology, but it's good to be aware of the limits of FFF before starting to design your parts.

General Usage Guidelines[edit | edit source]

Take Turns[edit | edit source]

We have a 3D printing queue now to ensure everyone gets the most out of the 3D printer farm and minimize frustrating waits.

Slicing[edit | edit source]

  • NEVER use your own computer to slice but use the Laptop in the printing room
  • always double-check whether the correct machine is selected
  • do not touch any Cura settings you're not certain about!
  • if you do change settings, please leave a detailed note with your log entry and let the next users know whether it improved quality

Do Your Math[edit | edit source]

  • shell thickness must be a multiple of the nozzle diameter (currently 0.4 mm on all printers)
  • bottom/top thickness must be a multiple of your selected layer height
  • parts with sizes very close to or below the nozzle diameter won't turn out well
  • following these simple rules will save you a lot time and material!

Supervision[edit | edit source]

  • even simple prints can go wrong, so please watch the homing process and the first layer closely and check the progress regularly
  • do not leave the printers unattended - a bathroom break is OK of course, but you'll have to find someone else to supervise a print if you absolutely need to leave the building
  • there is no need to sit in front of the machine all the time, just do not leave the Makerspace!

Cleanliness[edit | edit source]

  • for improved adhesion, remove any dust from the print bed and wipe it with a few drops of acetone.
  • collect any clean plastic waste in the appropriate (material and color!) bags for recycling

SD Cards[edit | edit source]

  • it is absolutely vital that you only use the SD card assigned to each printer, check the label or the volume name if you're not sure (Cura often displays a wrong volume name in its file explorer)
  • if you don't know a file, don't print it - ideally, slice all your models right before printing

File Storage[edit | edit source]

  • all your files should be in your own folders on the SD cards (H:\<Your Name>) and the makerspace laptop (e.g. Users\Maker\Downloads\<Your Name>). Any loose files will be deleted!
  • always back up your files on your own storage, the SDs and the laptop might be cleaned up at any time without much warning!
  • do not use old GCodes over and over again, rather save your STLs and slice freshly for every print - there could have been changes to the machine since your last visit!

Pricing[edit | edit source]

We try to keep the price low to allow anyone to print. Apart from the material cost, we need new acetone from time to time. More costly is the time that needs to be put into repairing malfunctioning printers, plus possibly replacement parts. Usually we have more print requests than free functional printers. Please put in the donation box next to the printing laptop table:

  • 5 ct/gram material cost
  • + 1 ? per hour of printing (first 30 minutes are free, 50 % off for members)
  • + any additional amount you like

The higher priced long running prints could allow us to build more printers in the future. If you really cannot afford it, talk to us. We would like to support you in that case.

Changing filament is a very tedious task at the moment, so please try to avoid it and only attempt doing it yourself if you know exactly how to do it!

Feel free to print parts for the blind school project while waiting for your main project to finish (no material cost)!

Experts[edit | edit source]

If you're not sure about something, these Makers might be able to help (feel free to add yourself to the list if you meet the requirements):