One of the most used machines in the lab is our 3D printers. They can be used to create almost anything! People usually use them for creting mechanical parts, adapters, figurines and so on. You make a 3D model on your computer, slice it up in another software which tells the printer how to print it and after a couple hours you got your print! You can usually learn how to model, prepare and print a object in an afternoon!
3D-Printers in the lab
We have alot of printers in the lab, some melt plastic through a nozzle FFF- Fused Fabrication Fabrication (often called FDM) and some use lasers to sinter plastic powder (SLS - Selective Laser Sintering).
In order to use the 3D printers you must have a licens, the "Körkort - FDM-Skrivare" or "Körkort - SLS-Skrivare". You can get the license by completing the 3D-Printing course offered by CASE. You also have to book the machine you will use with our booking system.
In order to make a 3D-Print you need a file with the model you want to print. This file is often a STL file. If you have designed a modell yourself in a CAD-Program you can easily export it as that file type. If you choose to download your model from e.g Thingiverse or Instructables it will usually by supplied in the .stl format.
There are lots of different materials to use with different properties so you need to choose the right Filament for your application. Some are very easy to print and can get great detail while others are impact resistance, chemically resistant or elastic. Since they have different properties they need different settings in order to print correctly. If you are new to 3D printing we recomend you use PLA
Machine Instructions(Slicer software)
The 3D printers cannot tell how to print a modell only by looking at how the model looks. The printers need a file named G-code which tells the printer how and where to extrude plastic. The machine instructions are generated with the help of Slicer software. The Slicer slices your model into thin layers which will be printed sequentally.
When you got your G-code ready you can upload it to the printer through a USB or WiFi. Remeber to read the specific printers guide before using.
For students who uses the machine for courses, school projects and such the cost if FREE. For hobby users and makers you can find the cost of the Filament under [Prices#Filament | this site].
3D-printers are relativly expensive. It's hard to break something (you included) with the printer though caution of hot parts and motors should be taken seriously. The most common problem is that a print comes of the print bed while printing and the print has to be restarted. A bigger problem is if the nozzle gets clogged, then you will have to clean it, you can follow this guide Cleaning#Nozzle.
Below you can find some common problems and how to fix them.
ADD COMMON PROBLEMS AND FIXES
Since we have alot of Ultimaker printers you can find great documentation on meterials, using, maintenence and more over at