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Area 49

COVID-19 Changes for Fall 2020

Procedures for accessing trainings, room reservations, and machine reservations have changed for Fall 2020 due to Covid-19. Please check our Area 49 Access Document for details or email us at atkinstechsupport@uncc.edu.

3D Printers Info

Lulzbot Taz 6

JellyBox

LulzBot

Print Bed Volume:​

  • X axis: 11.2 inches
  • Y axis: 11.2 inches
  • Z axis: 9.8 inches

Lanyard Color: green

JellyBox

Print Bed Volume:

  • X axis: 6.7 inches
  • Y axis: 6.2 inches
  • Z axis: 5.9 inches

Lanyard Color: pink

Location: Makerspace

Use options: Training or Request a print

Cost: $0.25/gram, $1 minimum

General

3D printers use digital models to create three-dimensional objects by depositing plastic filament (PLA) one layer at a time in a process called fused deposition modeling. This page shows how to 3D print the file, from start to finish and also notes some pointers for quality prints. Check out our Technology Instruction page for dates and times for trainings and to register for them. 

Users may set their own prints on the 3D printers after completing a training and signing the 3D Printers Safety Agreement, but must schedule them ahead of time at groupstudy.uncc.edu. Any unscheduled prints may be stopped and removed from the printer if someone else has scheduled that time. Users are asked to limit the scheduling of prints to one print per week, with the exception of single prints that will run for a longer period. If the user does not check in within 15 minutes of the scheduled start time, the scheduled job will be automatically removed from the calendar. Check our 3D Printing Policy for more information.

Safety

  • The 3D printer extrusion heads are heated to at least 210°C (410°F), even during standby mode, and that touching the print head can result in serious burns.
  • Users are allowed to insert and remove filament from the print head and any tangled or clumped filament from the build plate, but should seek the assistance of Makerspace staff for more complex troubleshooting issues. 
  • 3D printers contain multiple moving parts. Interfering with normal operation may damage the printer. In an emergency, turn off the printer using the printer’s main power switch.
  • -Fill out and post the Job Status Form on the 3D printer while using it and remove my print in a timely manner once printing is complete.
  • Makerspace staff will pause the print when the Makerspace closes for the night and will restart it upon reopening.
  • Limit 3D prints to those that are for non-commercial purposes only.
  • Comply with all tutorial and operations instructions given by Makerspace staff.

3D Printing Your File

Slicing your print (preparing the file)

  1. Open your .stl or .obj file in Cura. The Lulzbot edition can be used to slice prints for both the Lulzbot and the JellyBox.
  2. Check the weight and runtime in the bottom right corner. Multiply the weight in grams by $0.25 to get your printing cost, though it may vary slightly.
  3. Choose the settings.
  • Printer (Lulzbot Taz 6 or IMADE3D JellyBox)
  • Material Type
    • Lulzbot: PLA Verbatim
    • JellyBox: IMADE3D PLA Pink
  • Infill percentage and type
    • 20% infill for most prints, but judge it based on how sturdy the print needs to be.
  • Speed/Quality
    • High detail setting: for curves or details
    • Standard or high-speed setting: level or smooth prints
  • Supports: If the print has a 45º overhang, use supports.​
Detail Level & Supports
 Smooth print example Coarse print example

High Detail

Standard Detail
Needs Supports No supports

 

  • Build Plate Adhesion:
    • Raft: A thick layer that stops warping (will prolong print time)
    • Skirt: A thin line around the print area that extrudes any old color and ensures a smooth filament flow
    • Brim: A thin layer that prevents warping by holding the bottom edges to the build plate.

Raft, Skirt, Brim

Source: 762fd12ae2f1e6ec723ef22d69985f099144b206_1_690x115.jpg

  1. Save your print with your NinerNet Username to find it easier. When you get to the Makerspace, save this file to the SD card for that printer. An SD card adapter is available.

On the 3D Printer

LCD Screen

Loading/Unloading Filament

Filament sizes:

  • Lulzbot Taz 6: 2.85mm
  • JellyBox: 1.75mm
  1. Heat the extruder nozzle: Select "Nozzle Temp" and turn to 210º C on the LCD screen.
  2. Once the extruder is heated, release the filament feeder by pulling the screws up.
  3. Pull out the old filament and visually inspect the drive gear. Clean out filament left in the gear.
  4. Load the new filament spool and find the end. Cut the end at a 45º angle for loading ease and so the extruder won't jam. Ensure that the filament roll has no tangles or overlaps.
  5. Push the filament all the way into the hot end until the new color extrudes.
  6. Secure the feeder. Lift the piece with the screws, pull the lower part toward the filament, and push the part with the screws back over that piece.

Setting the print

  1. Insert the SD card
  2. Heat the extruder to 205º C (between 190º & 210º is standard)
  3. Heat the print bed to 50-60º C
  4. Set the print speed. (100% is standard, but this may be adjusted for time or quality.)
  5. Select "Print using SD" and select your file.
  6. Watch until the first layer is complete to ensure there are no defects. If you observe defects, stop the print and adjust your print settings.
  7. Stay with the print for the first half hour, which is usually when things go wrong. Check the print every hour after that.
  8. Once the print is finished, bring the build plate to a temperature of 40º C to remove the print.
  9. Bring the print to the Makerspace Monitor, who will weigh it in grams and enter cost information into our library system. Pay for your print at the Circulation Desk on the first floor.

Pausing the print

Your print will be paused by the Makerspace Monitor overnight. Currently, the extruder will lift automatically, but if it does not, keep these things in mind:

  • When pausing a print:
    •  Lift the extruder away from the print immediately. The longer it is near the print, the more it will melt the surface.
    • Make a note on the 3D printing poster of how much you lifted the extruder, so it can be resumed at the correct point.
  • When resuming a print:
    • Make sure it aligns properly
    • Wipe the nozzle of burnt filament, whether you see any or not. Place a sheet of paper or cloth over the print directly under the extruder and push the dark filament out. Wipe off the extruder nozzle with a cloth to remove any remnants.

Tips & Tricks

  • Don't start a short print at the end of the day. If the print can be completed in a single day, start early to avoid pausing.
  • If individual print lines aren't sticking together, the Z-axis needs to be adjusted to smooth the layers.
  • Always orient the print so that there is the least possible support generated. It may be right-side up, but it may also be upside down or on its side.
  • Always take off supports and rafting before weighing the item. Support material is not included in the cost. There are multiple tools near the 3D printers that are appropriate for finishing a print.
  • If the supports are too dense to remove without destroying the print, reprint the item. Go into the "Custom Settings" in Cura and reduce the support density by 10-15%. Enable the interface if it is not already enabled. Reduce it to .75mm and print the item.
  • Always check your print periodically. If something goes wrong, it will likely happen within the first 30 minutes, but other issues can arise later. The photo below shows what can happen if you leave for too long without checking on the print's progress. Notice that filament can collect around the extruder, which will ruin the print. The longer this continues, the higher the likelihood of extruder damage.

clogged extruder

  • If you are experiencing oddities in your print, head over to Simplify3D's Print Quality Troubleshooting Guide or seek assistance from the Makerspace Monitor.

  • Take note of the different axis names and how the axes move:

    • X axis: left to right

    • Y axis: front to back

    • Z axis: up and down 

Supports

Are Supports needed?

Lay the model on the flattest side to reduce the support filament used and the print time. Overhangs over 45 degrees will require supports. Check the slicer program, also. Areas beneath the overhang will be red if supports are needed.

Supports Type

Supports Styles

Fig. 1. Lattice Support Patterns. Retrieved from Ultimaker

  • Concentric: Good for models shaped as a sphere, tube, pipe and hollow prints.
  • Lines: Easily removable for tricky holes or flat surfaces. Use for T and H-shaped overhangs.
  • Zig Zag: Similar to lines but are easier to remove because lines are connected. Use for T and H-shaped overhangs. 

Tree Supports

Tree Supports

Fig. 2. Tree Supports. Retrieved from Flashforge.com

Use tree supports for dynamic shapes. They are much easier to remove from smaller areas without breaking the print. (All3DP.com)

Setting Tree Supports in Cura
  • To add to your settings: Settings >configure setting visibility > experimental > check all boxes about tree supports > Close.
  • To enable tree supports: Position the model then enable tree supports. Custom > check to show Experimental > Tree Support settings. Uncheck the supports box on the main settings interface. Leaving it checked, it will generate both regular supports and tree supports.

Support Density

Distance between support structure lines

  • Higher values generate more support, take longer to print, and are harder to remove. 
  • Lower values generate less support, take less time to print, and are easier to remove.
  • The larger and heavier the overhang, the more support density needed. 8%-15% support density is recommended.

Advanced Support Settings

Support Placement

You can pick where Cura will generate supports:

  • Everywhere (including on the model)
  • Build plate only (only touching the bed). Build plate only is recommended for hollow, pipe-shaped models.

Z Distance

The gap between the top and bottom of the supports and the model.

  • .2mm - .5mm support Z distance is recommended.
  • This gap prevents supports from melting to the model and makes it easier to remove supports. Large gaps will not give filament a supported base, and will cause the print to fail.

Support Interface

Creates a layer between the support and the model. This leaves a smooth looking finish on the model. Always reduce it to at least  .75mm and increase the Z distance in order to remove it easily.

Additional Tips

  • Use glue, not rafts, if you notice the brim and model are rising to decrease the amount of filament wasted. When using glue, always clean the bed when you are finished.

  • Don't reprint a failed print using the same settings as before.

  • Always use a brim for small models or when you notice the bottom rising. Without a brim, prints can easily move out of place especially they are tall. If the bottom rises, stop it immediately and add a brim or raft. The print has already failed.

  • Before saving your print to a flash drive always see it in Layer View to see exactly how the build plate adhesion and support will look. View drop-down menu > choose Layer View > wait for it to render.

Additional Options

Create a profile in Cura

Create a profile to save your frequently-used settings.

  1. Make your desired changes in Custom Settings.
  2. Click "Profile" drop-down menu.
  3. Click "Create Profile from Current Settings."
  4. Name the profile.

You can now select the profile at any time.

To skip the auto-leveling step:

In "Machine Settings," move to the Start GCode box. Delete all content from the box and replace it with the following content. Copy the following into the Start GCode box:

;This G-Code has been generated specifically for the LulzBot TAZ 6 with standard extruder

M75 ; start GLCD timer

G26 ; clear potential 'probe fail' condition

G21 ; set units to Millimetres

M107 ; disable fans

M420 S0 ; disable previous leveling matrix

G90 ; absolute positioning

M82 ; set extruder to absolute mode

G92 E0 ; set extruder position to 0

M140 S{material_bed_temperature} ; start bed heating up

G28 ; Home all axis

M425 Z ; use measured Z backlash for compensation

M425 Z F0 ; turn off measured Z backlash compensation. (if activated in the quality settings, this command will automatically be ignored)

M204 S500 ; restore standard acceleration

M117 Heating... ; progress indicator message on LCD

M109 R{material_print_temperature_layer_0} ; wait for extruder to reach printing temp

M190 S{material_bed_temperature_layer_0} ; wait for bed to reach printing temp

G90 ; use absolute positioning for the XYZ axes

G1 E0 F100 ; prime nozzle from previous print

M117 TAZ 6 Printing... ; progress indicator message on LCD

Dual Extruder

The Dual Extruder allows for printing a single item in two different colors. Check out the Dual Extruder page for instructions on creating, slicing, and printing the file.

Troubleshooting

If your print isn't turning out as planned, take a look at our 3D Printing Troubleshooting page!