Before you enter the lab, you must have previously prepared everything you need. Here is a checklist you can follow to make sure you’re prepared.
When you arrive on the day of your booking, you will have half an hour at the computers, and half an hour at the printers. It is imperative that you use this time wisely, as you will be cut off from the printers at exactly one hour.
If you are late for a session, it will be given to someone on the waiting list. If you fail to attend a session, there may be a penalty to your final grade.
Scaling Your Files
Before printing, we must ensure our files are scaled correctly. You can follow these instructions to ensure your files are ready to print. Remember, it is your responsibility to ensure that the measurements are correct before printing.
Open Netfabb Basic from the Desktop. When prompted, select “I accept the terms of usage”, and click “Later” when it becomes enabled after 10 seconds.
Open (one of) your .STL file(s) in Netfabb Basic.
Take note of the measurements of the part. Is it the correct size? Inventor often exports .STL files ten times too small. If this is the case, we will have to scale it up 10x. If it is not that small, we do not have to scale it.
Right click part > Scale part
After scaling by 10 times, we also must scale our entire design by 1.5 times (150%). This gives us a total scaling factor of 15 (if we had to scale up by 10 times first). For spur gears only, we are not going to scale the z axis by 1.5, but instead leave it (assuming our face-width is reasonable and does not require scaling). This is because we can scale the face-width differently than the rest of the gear without impacting the gear’s performance. This is not the case for all other gears, which must be scaled uniformly.
At the end of this step, your designs should simply be 1.5 times larger than they were initially designed to be, with the exception of spur gears, which should be 1.5 times wider in the x and y directions.
When we’re happy with our scaling, we can export the .STL file for printing.
Printing Your Files
We will be printing our files on SeeMeCNC Orion Delta printers. The software we’re using is called Repetier. Open it from the Desktop or Start menu. If you’re doing this at home, please use MatterControl and follow the instructions I’ve provided on the Avenue FAQ.
Add the file that was previously scaled in Netfabb Basic to the Repetier queue.
Navigate to the Slicer tab and click “Slice with Slic3r”. This will slice the .STL into many layers, and write directions that the printer needs to print them.
Connect to the printer and Start the print. The Connect and Start buttons are located at the top-left of the interface.
The printer will begin heating, and will start as soon as it is ready. It is the responsibility of the student to watch the printer during operation and alert a TA or IAI of any problems. The screen contains lots of data about the current status of the print. When the print is done, allow time for it to cool before removing. Only remove the part if a TA or IAI has indicated it is safe to do so.