3D Printing Guide

 3D Printing Process

This page gives an overview of the steps involved in 3D printing process. Also, the terminologies used in slicing software are explained so that you can easily and quickly start with your first print.

Step 1 : 3D Modeling

Step 2 : Slicing and Printing

Save ‘.gcode’ file on SD memory card. Insert the card in the card slot provided on your printer. Select the required file to start printing.

As complex designs may take hours to print, it is always better to print through SD card instead of connecting your computer to printer through USB cable.

TIPS

a) For first few layers:

  • Check that the printed material is sticking to the bed. If not, clean the base and place Kapton tape on it. Try to increase either bed or extruder temperature.
  • Filament is feeding correctly.
  • If the printer makes weird unnecessary movements, try slicing again using different settings.
  • Make sure that the dimensions of your design are within the working area of the printer.

b) After printing is done:

  • Wait for the bed to cool down before removing the object. Removing the object too soon may warp it.
  • Finished product may have some brims on the bottom which can be removed using a knife or file.
  • If there are blobs or holes at the surface, check if the extruder is working correctly and adjust the extruder temperature.

 Terminologies for slicing your 3D model

  1. Layer Height (mm) – This refers to the height of each layer of plastic to make the desired part. Higher values print fast, lower values focus on better quality. 0.05mm – 0.25mm values are acceptable.
    Start with 0.1mm and then adjust according to your need.
  2. Shell Thickness (mm) – This is the minimum wall thickness. This value should be a multiple of nozzle size. If your printer uses nozzle of 0.4mm, then keep shell thickness 0.8mm or 1.2mm.
    Note – 0.8mm should work fine.
  3. Enable Retraction – Enabling this will retract the filament while the nozzle moves over a non-printing area. Do keep this enabled.
  4. Bottom/Top Thickness (mm) – This refers to the thickness of bottom and top layers. Keep this value multiple of layer thickness and close to shell thickness.
    Note – If layer thickness is 0.1mm and shell thickness is 0.8mm then bottom/top thickness should work fine.
  5. Fill Density (%) – This value defines how much filled the inside part of your print will be. Usually, 15% or 20% works fine.
  6. Print Speed (mm/s) – This is the speed at which the printing is done. Start with a value of 50 and then adjust accordingly.
  7. Support – This option provides support to the designs that have hanging or unsupported parts. Try different options in the software to meet your requirements. These supports can be easily removed after printing is completed.
  8. Filament Diameter (mm) – Just type the diameter of your filament.