3D Printer Introduction

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(deutsche Version: 3D-Drucker-Einweisung - Änderungen wenn möglich auch dort eintragen!)

This is the content required for an introduction to our FFF (fused filament fabrication) "Prusa i3 MK2S" 3D printers - reading this does NOT replace the mandatory session with a tutor! It will make it a lot quicker though ;-)

Let's begin! First off, make sure you are aware of the 3D printer farm's general usage guidelines and have read the printers' manual.

Safety

Dangers

  • exposed heated parts - may still be hot if the display is already turned off!
    • nozzle (over 200 °C)
    • print bed (up to 100 °C)
  • rapidly moving mechanical parts
  • machine may keep executing its commands after something went wrong
    • every move is based on the initial homing ("zero-ing")
    • no sensing of obstacles or current position!
  • when removing support material, small plastic parts can fly everywhere

Precautions

  • do not reach into the print area while in operation!
  • closely watch the homing process and the initial layer before leaving the printer alone
  • stay within the CoMakingSpace for the duration of your print and occasionally have a look at how it's going
    • if you need to leave for a while, pause the print or ask someone to supervise it
    • there is no need to sit in front of the machine all the time, just do not leave the Space!
  • wear eye protection when removing support material

How to Stop

Here are your options, depending on how fast you have to be:

  • FAST - the printer is crashing/making weird noises/going up in smoke?
    • turn off the power at the cord (very quick, but also shuts neighboring printers off!) or the printer's power supply (still pretty quick)
    • wait a second and turn the power on again so the fans keep cooling the hot nozzle
    • via the control panel, move up (Z +) so the nozzle gets out of the part that failed
    • if you can't identify exactly what went wrong and how to fix it, talk to a tutor before attempting the print again
  • MEDIUM - you're pretty sure there will be a mistake in the next few commands the machine is executing?
    • press the "X" button on the control panel (will reset the printer, everything freezes but the fans stay on)
    • via the control panel, move up (Z +) so the nozzle gets out of the part that failed
    • if you can't identify exactly what went wrong and how to fix it, talk to a tutor before attempting the print again
  • SLOW - you're not happy with the way your print is turning out?
    • via the control panel, select ABORT PRINT
    • change the print settings you think were responsible and try again (best keep the failed part for reference!)

Control Panel

Push the dial to enter the menu and as an "Enter" button, turn to scroll through lists of settings - the details about this are found in the printers' manual.

Be aware that changes via the control panel do not have an immediate effect, but a few lines of code may still be executed from the machine's buffer!

Changing Filament

The filament change on our printers is done semi automatically via the control panel. It usually works quite well but we will demonstrate it as part of the introduction. Before putting in a new spool, make sure you know what type of plastic it is and what to look out for (e.g. different nozzle temperature, flexibility).

Some materials are currently not printable because they require temperatures our setup won't reach or they would produce noxious fumes. Only use the filament provided in the 3D printer farm!

Suggested Reading

To increase your success rate, you should also read the pages about 3D printing in general, bed preparation, filament and slicing. Don't beat yourself up if you still have some failed prints - it happens to very experienced users now and then ;-)

Waiting List

This introduction takes longer than many others and can't just be done during regular opening times. If you would like to receive it, please enter yourself >>here<< and we will find a good time once a few members are on the list!