The 3d printer in the makerspace is a Makerbot Replicator, first generation, somewhat customized:
- The print bed is glass
- The controller board has been replaced with a Flashforge Creator board
- Only one extruder works
This is one of the safest machines in the space. Still, there are ways to cause minor injuries:
- The extruder hot end gets very hot, 200-230 degrees celsius. Don't touch it.
- The print head is moved around by belts and gears, if you get your fingers or hair caught in these it will hurt.
- Prints usually stick very well to the print bed, and sometimes require sharp tools to remove.
- The glass print bed has sharp edges, be careful with it.
To 3d print an object, you need a design for an object (in STL format), to "slice" into GCode (in x3g format), and to then put that x3g file on to an SD card and insert it into the printer.
Turning it on
The wooden / silver box to the right of the printer is its power supply. On the back is a switch, toggle it to turn the printer on.
Obtaining an STL file
Slicing a file
The computer closest to the printer has a program called Simplify3D that can slice a file. Recommended settings are, 0.25 mm layer height, 40 mm/s print speed, 70 deg print bed temperature, 210 deg extrusion temperature.
This section is incomplete
Removing the print from the bed
Unclip the glass sheet from the printer and set it on a table or the floor to cool. After a few minutes, because the glass changes size with temperature at a different rate than the plastic, the print will detach easily.
- Every few prints, it's good to rinse off the glass print bed and re-apply a coating of hairspray.
- If the machine is squeaky, apply a couple drops of 3-in-1 oil to the smooth rods to lubricate it.
- Every couple months, take a few minutes to tighten the screws holding everything together, paying special attention to the set screws on the gears moving the gantry.