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3D Printing basics

Terminology/ Anatomy of a 3D printing

No point reinventing the wheel as plenty of sites on this e.g. here

Stages of printing

These are common stages to all the different types of printers we'll focus for now on the delta printers such as the BIQU Magician -page *here*

The basic stages of using a 3d Printer are as follows:

Make/ get something you want to print

Usually one or more .stl design files are somewhere in the package you download and it's these we need. thingivese (https://www.thingiverse.com) has plenty of these. Other options in software page *here* The design of your own shapes is more complicated and isn't covered here at present but I've been using fusion 360 with some success (https://www.autodesk.com/products/fusion-360/students-teachers-educators) Other options are in the software page *here*

Convert this .stl file through slicing software into gcode

Sounds more scary than it is. Slicing software takes horizontal 'slices' through the image, and then converts these into code (called gcode - more *here- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G-code*) that the printer can understand. It also adds in specific code to that printer that is needed, such as the size of the print allowed, the filament being used and so on. It also adds support structures for where the printer has overhangs *LOTS OF IMAGES* or adding extra components to the print (rafts/ brims to aid in adhesion to the print bed)

Get the .gcode file on to the printer for printing

Techniques vary for this but this can be through a memory card, web page or connecting to the printer through USB.

Calibrate the printer

The print head needs to know where the bed is to print accurately, and the bed needs to be level. This varies per printer and instructions can be found in their individual sections.

Preparing the bed

The first layer of a print is the most important. We're trying to ensure good adhesion between the bed and what you're printing.

Various techniques have been tried with success at RML such as: Blue Painters tape - PVP Glue (Prittstick) - just put a layer of this onto the bed - be sure to clear it afterwards Various sprays -

There are many yourtube videos on this. Some examples

Makers Muse - many good videos in general https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fo42S22BTwg

Changing the settings for the print itself in the slicing software is an important step but a bit more advanced for this section. Ask around.



Cleaning the print bed

Leave it in a good state for the next person. Check the individual printer pages for specific techniques for this

Troubleshooting 3d Prints