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How do I print using the 3D printer by Learning Resources?

This guide steps through the process of printing a 3D object using the Ultimaker 3D printer by Learning Resources.

What we need to print

To make a print we need:

  • A 3D model. This may be obtained by either downloading an existing model from sources like museum repositories, 3D model commercial sites etc., or the model can be made using CAD software, a 3D scanner, or by photogrammetry. We have produced a guide to making 3D models with photogrammetry. LR’s Digital Services team will be able to help if you have any questions about creating a model.
  • Material used for printing (filament). For a small one-off item we may print for you for free. If you need more or large items, we may ask you to purchase the correct type and amount of filament required. We will require Ultimaker-branded filament, as the manufacturer’s rolls of material will contain an NFC tag that will allow the printer to identify the type of filament being used and adjust the settings accordingly. This can be purchased from 3DGBIRE (opens in new tab). 
  • Time – it can take a couple of days to make a very large print.
  • 3D models of the correct size. We can only print objects up to a maximum of 7 inches (17 cm) long in any direction.
    A model configured in a way that will successfully print (the Digital Services team will help you with this).

Preparing the model for printing

The 3D model needs to be “sliced” using Ultimaker’s “Cura” software to generate a file the printer can work with. We can slice the model for you, or you can download for free Cura from Ultimaker (opens in new tab). 

If you are slicing the model:

  • Select the Ultimaker 3 as the printer type.
  • Select the material type (usually PLA) and colour for Extruder 1.
  • Leave the layer height at the default setting of 0.1 unless you need a quicker print and wish to move the slider to 0.2.
  • Select the amount of infill required (10% – 100%). The higher the infill percentage the more material will be consumed and the longer it will take to print the object.
  • Select the option to “Build Plate Adhesion”.
  • If there are any overhangs on the object you may wish to select the option to “Generate Support” – make sure that Extruder 1 is the selected option when using this unless you are using water-soluble filament in Extruder 2. This support can be snapped off the finished print once the object has been printed.

Contact Learning Resources when you need to print

If you’d like to make a print, please contact digitalservices@brookes.ac.uk and we will arrange with you for the print to be made.

Updated on May 12, 2020

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