Week 2 – First Prints

// Roundup //

Last week we printed Penny Traps and talked briefly about 3D printing and design. Everyone signed up for Accounts with Google, WordPress, Thingiverse, and Tinkercad, created a “Hello post“, and started working on a Tinkercad project. If you’re new to the class this week, make sure you catch up with those assignments right away.

// Today: First prints from start to finish //

  • Group Discussion: In groups, share your First Tinkercad Print ideas with each other. Download the STL files for each model.
  • 3D Print to the Ultimakers: Print the smaller or more delicate model on the Ultimaker.
    • We’ll do these steps together as a class, but here’s an overview of the printing steps:
    • Open Cura and load your STL file.
    • Select “Ultimaker 2+ Extended” or “Ultimaker 3” in the upper right.
    • From the Profile menu, select the “Racer X” profile.
    • Does your model need supports? Does it need to be re-oriented, centered, or placed flat on the build platform? Can you scale it so that it prints in less than 45 minutes to an hour? Discuss as a group and then I’ll come over and approve each model individually.
    • Get the SD card or USB drive from your group’s Ultimaker and insert it into the back of the computer.
    • The lower right button should say something like “Save to Removable Drive”. Press this button when ready.
    • Eject the SD/USB drive and put it back into the Ultimaker.
    • Make sure the printer’s build platform is clear and then Print your sliced file.
  • 3D Print to the Afinias: Print the larger or simpler model on the Afinia.
    • Follow the instructions at the JMU 3SPACE site.
    • If your Afinia is broken then you’ll have to try to start your print on another printer later, whichever one in the room finishes printing first.
  • Class Discussion: Each group come to the front and show your Tinkercad models to the class. Here are some questions to discuss: Why did you make this object? What tools did you use? What would you change if you worked on it some more?
  • Best Practices for Finishing Prints: Your print is over, but there’s still lots to do…
    • Remove your completed print from the printer. It may be easier after the platform cools a bit.
    • Clean up any rafts or supports on your model.
    • Take a photo of your print! We have a class iPad if you don’t have a good phone camera. You’ll need this photo for a future blog post and to post a “Make” on Thingiverse.
    • Print a Level Test (“Afinia square” or “Ultimaker X”) to show the next user that the printer is still leveled and ready. If your Level Test does not print successfully, then cancel the print and leave a note on the printer.
    • If your print does not finish before the end of class, leave a note with your name, contact info, and estimated completion time.

// For Next Time //

For homework you’ll create fifty objects in Tinkercad and document your work in a blog post; see the Assignments page for details. Next week we’ll review those forms and the techniques used to make them, start pitches for your first serious design projects, and fill out forms to get you swipe card access to 3SPACE…