3D Printer Introduction

From CoMakingSpace Wiki

(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) 3D Printers - reading this does NOT replace the mandatory session with a tutor! It will make it a lot quicker though ;-)

If you need this Introduction, please reach out to the following tutors: Mitja, Patrick, Luca, Johannes, Leo, Lukas, Luzian, Martin, Kim, Kalun, Ciaran, Björn

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


Dangers Precautions
Danger - heat.svg
exposed heated parts - may still be hot if the display is already turned off!
  • nozzle (over 200 °C)
  • print bed (up to 100 °C)
do not touch these parts when the printer is or has recently been running
Danger - hand injury.svg
rapidly moving mechanical parts
do not reach into the print area while in operation!
  • 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!
  • 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!
when removing support material, small plastic parts can fly everywhere 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/heading for an obstacle/making weird noises/going up in smoke?
    • 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!)
    • if there is a removable mistake that isn't critical yet, you could also PAUSE PRINT and try to fix it

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!

Nozzle size

Printers can have different nozzle sizes installed make sure you select the machine profile with the corresponding nozzle size in the slicer.

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 usually can't be done spontaneously during regular opening times. If you would like to receive it, please add yourself to >> this list << and we will find a good time once a few members are on it!