This is our 3D printer. The 3-D printer is an UP! (a slightly older version of the device currently available).
We have a dedicated PC running win7 and UP! software. It can import STL design files from Google sketchup.
Using the 3D Printer
The 3D printer is an excellent tool for either making small parts, or rapid prototyping. At the same time it is an expensive tool with a (small) risk of injury and fire, so is very important you know how to use it to avoid damaging yourself and the machine.
The Owners are those nominally in charge of the equipment, organising its maintenance, training others to use it, and generally being a point of contact.
The current Owners of the 3D printer are:
If you have any questions, problems or concerns around the 3D printer, these are the people to contact.
No formal training is required to operate the 3D Printer. If you intend to make something using the printer please read the Health & Safety Safety Notes below before doing so. The manual is also available online in case you require additional information.
Health and Safety
The 3D printer is a potentially dangerous piece of equipment which must only be operated by members who have received appropriate training and who take due care. The top things to always remember when using the 3D printer are:
- ONLY USE THE 3D PRINTER IF YOU HAVE READ RELEVANT SAFETY NOTES
- ONLY USE THE 3D PRINTER IF YOU HAVE READ THE INSTRUCTIONS
- NEVER LEAVE THE PRINTER RUNNING UNATTENDED
- KNOW WHAT TO DO IF A FIRE BREAKS OUT
As a responsible user, you should be very aware of the following risks and how to deal with them:
HEAD CRASH - incorrect calibration could cause the nozzle to hit the platen at job start
- You must watch the printer as it starts the job, and be ready to turn off the power if a collision occurs
TRAPPING - The head and bed of the machine are moved by programs in the machines memory.
- Be careful when near the machine, it will possibly move even if the PC is off
- Ensure you are familiar with the location of the power switch, to turn it off quickly should a problem occur
BURN RISK - the platen on the printer is heated, and will reach temperatures during a print run which could cause skin burns. Also a malfunction could cause this to overheat.
- Be careful when the machine is on, or has recently been used, to guard against burns
To use the printer you must familiarise yourself with the safety notes above and read the following instructions.
Give the machine a quick visual check. Make sure that there is nothing left on the platen. Remove the platen support piece from under the platen and gently lower it. Turn on the machine with the rocker switch on the front.
Load your Design
Download to the Printer
DO NOT EVER LEAVE THE PRINTER UNATTENDED
The printer is turned off using the rocker switch on the front. Shut down the PC and double check that everything is left in save state for the next user.
The maintenance of the 3D printer is carried out by the Owners, with some basic maintenance being carried out by Users on every job.
Continuous Maintenance (Every job, done by all 3D Printer Users)
- Clean the platen of any plastic remnants
- Check the new material is feeding OK and the reel has enough on it
Basic Maintenance (Every week, done by Printer Maintainers)
Full Maintenance (Every 4 weeks, done by 3d Printer Maintainers)
- Week Number, Date, Type, Owner (Notes)
- Week 02, January 7,
- Week 03, January 14,
- Week 04, January 21,
- Week 05, January 28,
- Week 06, February 4,
- Week 07, February 11,
- Week 08, February 18,
- Week 09, February 25,
Maintenance Shopping List
We expect to have to change the following parts for general maintenance:
Maintenance and Spares:
- One UK supplier of consumables is Cool Components
Our printer has been modified to support solid 3mm ABS plastic sheets as the base. These are disposable; they have to be cut from the big sheet and drilled using the jig we have created. The bolted-down solid plastic dramatically reduces problems with warping, and it also saves time and material when printing: you should disable the automatic raft.
You can download Quickstart manual and latest driver software from pp3dp.
- Google SketchUp - link with stl plugin as below
- This plugin seems to work quite well link Use 'File;Export to DXF or STL' from Sketchup once you have installed it and select 'STL' as the last item in the type list when asked
- NetFabb repairs any incomplete STL files link
- Meshlab is a good free program (Sourceforge) for visualising and modifying STL files link