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KUB Nørd - Innovation Lab: FAQ, tips, and tricks

Estimated print time for your object

To make sure you have booked enough time for your print job, check the estimated time on the screen before printing. The latest Makerware version will automatically tell you an estimated time, when saving your object.

FAQs and troubleshooting

Heres is a collection of links to FAQs dealing with 3D-printing. We focus on FAQs relating to our models, however, FAQs about other 3D printers may also be relevant and are therefore included.

How to change filament (plastic)

If you want to print your object in another colour, you will need to change the filament.

This instruction is for the Makerbot and for the Flashforge

Follow the instruction on the screen on the printer:

  1. Choose utilities
  2. Choose change filament
  3. Choose load
  4. Wait until the filament runs through the nozzle, exit load, and choose unload
  5. It is now possible to press the little arm down and remove the filament.
  6. Remove the filament from the guide tube
  7. Put the new roll of filament on and push the filament through the guide tube, and make sure you choose the correct filament (only PLA for the Makerbot)
  8. Remove the guide tube from the top of the extruder and grab the filament. With a pair of scissors, cut a clean edge.
  9. Feed the end of the PLA Filament into the end of the guide tube. Feed the PLA Filament through the guide tube until it emerges from the other end of the tube 
  10. Choose load and press the arm down and push the filament through until you feel the motor tuck it in, and plastic is running from the nozzle, then exit the menu

How to make sure your object stays at the platform

There are different ways of ensuring that the object stays on the plate.

1. First of all, make sure that the object will be printed with rafts.

2. You further the process if you put masking tape on the plate and spray with hair lacquer or glue! This will ensure that the object remains sitting on the plate, it won’t begin slipping from the plate, and it can also prevent the object in lifting itself.

3.If the tape is worn or full of holes, you may replace it with new spare tape that you find in one of the black boxes placed under the printers.

4.If the platform is not even you can calibrate it. You can find the menu under "Utilities". It is quite easy - just follow the instructions on the screen. You will first tighten the screws on the bottom of the platform, lowering the bed AWAY from the nozzles. The startup routine will then move the nozzle to each corner - at each stop, loosen the screws until a thin card just barely slides between the nozzle and the platform. Once you're done, it will move the extruder nozzle to 3 additional points so you can verify the leveling. Note that you are leveling with regard to the extruder nozzle, not to the floor!

Printing 3D objects with PyMOL

PyMOL - printing 3D objects

Here is a way to print 3D objects from PyMOL files (PDB files). There may be easier ways to do it, but this works.

You will need three programs:
a) MakerWare
b) PyMOL (http://www.pymol.org)
c) Chimera (http://www.cgl.ucsf.edu/chimera/download.html)

Download the PDB file (.pdb extension; from http://www.rcsb.org/pdb/home/home.do). In the "download files" menu at the home page this is the "PDB File (text)".

  1. Open the file in PyMOL.
  2. Choose: show as - surface (in the menu to the right).
  3. Choose: file - save image as - VRML 2.
  4. Open the VRML 2 file (.wrl extension) with Chimera.
  5. Choose: file - export scene.
  6. Save as file with the .stl extension.
  7. Open the .stl file with MakerWare.
  8. Choose "Move to platform".
  9. Click on the object and dobbleclick on the "Scale" button.
  10. Scale to maximum size (or something that fits your need).
  11. Click on the "Make" butto. Choose "Low quality", check "Supports" and "Raft" and finally export the file (this may take a looooong time) to an SD card.
  12. Put the SD crad with the.3xg file created by MakerWare into the MakerWare Replicator 2 (the 3D printer).
  13. Choose build from SD and start.
  14. Watch and be patient. Depending on the file size and object proportions, it may take many hours.

You're the expert - please comment if you have improvements or suggestions to the above.