This module will form part of the 3D Printing Badge, to complete this module you will need:
Cura is an open-source, free slicing software used to prepare files for 3D printing. Cura will open and read your 3D CAD drawn model (in the form of a .STL or .OBJ), slice it up into lots of layers and convert those layers to lines of code that become the instructions for the 3D printers to follow!
You will need this for the Digital Fabrication Induction!
.1. When you first open Cura it will prompt you to set up a printer. Select the 'non-networked printers' drop-down menu.
2. The Design Futures Lab, Engineering and MCIC Makerspaces all have both Ultimaker 3's and Ultimaker s5's. Make sure you select the right printer before continuing as it will affect your model later on!
3. Once the printer has been chosen you will see it appear in the Cura window. To continue setting up Cura we will now add our setting profiles. Click on the print settings bar to open the menu.
4. The print settings menu is where you can view and change settings such as print quality, infill percentage and supports. More information on customising these print settings can be found later in this module.
5. Standard profiles have been created by makerspace staff for use in the 3D printers on campus. To load these profiles click on the drop-down arrow next to 'profiles'.
6. Here you can view and select the default profiles as well as any other profiles you have created or imported. Click 'manage profiles' to proceed in loading our standard UNSW profiles.
7. Select 'import' to open the UNSW profiles that you downloaded above.
8. Navigate to where you have saved the profiles you downloaded above and select to import them into Cura
This can be avoided by NOT USING SKETCHUP!
If working in Rhino ensure that your model is watertight and that all surface have been joined (see Rhino for 3D printing tutorial in the resources section).
When first opening the model in Cura, check for areas that flash blue or red. These are areas of the model that may be non-manifold.
Always check the preview before sending your file. Areas that have errors will become grey and will not print.
When considering 3D printing you model, always check where supports will be needed. Supports that are built inside a shape such as the one below will not be removable due to the geometry.
Consider removing the base of your model so that supports can be removed from the bottom. Alternatively, consider laser cutting models that are hollow with simple geometry. It will be much faster!
As a general rule, no parts of your model should be thinner than 1mm. Columns or extrusions are particularly tricky to print and so if you are planning on printing these features they need to be at least 2mm in diameter!
Because of the way these columns or extrusions get printed not only do the need to be at least 2mm in diameter, they shouldn't be too tall. Any taller than 50mm and they might start to distort and get very messy!
There is a huge amount of knowledge and advice about 3D Printing out there in the world. Here are some of the better ones we have found.