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3D Printing @ TechLab
The Caltech Library Techlab provides members of the Caltech community hands-on access to innovative rapid prototyping technologies to support the Institute's research and educational mission.
Students, faculty, postdocs, and staff can now
register for open access to our 3D printing equipment. We provide new user training and materials needed to create prototypes of 3D models. Previous experience with the equipment is not required.
Slicing Your Model
The general 3D printing workflow starts with a 3D model, exported as an .STL file, which is then put into software (Cura) that slices it into layers and outputs a GCODE file. GCODE is basically a set of instructions/toolpaths for the machines to follow.
Cura is one of many applications (Simplify3D, Slic3r, MatterControl, etc) that slices your STL into layers and converts it to printer-specific GCODE. Cura is a free, open-source software which can be installed and downloaded here: https://ultimaker.com/software/ultimaker-cura
Installing Custom Printer Definitions
'crafbot.def.json' file here: https://bit.ly/techlab-cura-definitions Add our custom Cura definition file '
crafbot.def.json' to Cura's 'definitions' folder:
Windows: C:\Program Files\Ultimaker Cura 4.9.1\resources\definitions
Mac: Applications > Ultimaker Cura > right click, ' Show Package Contents' > Contents > Resources > resources > definitions
Linux: Copy [ printername].def.json files into (In Terminal, ~/.local/share/cura/4.9.1/definitions cp -a [location saved]) /definitions/. ~/.local/share/cura/4.9.1/definitions , restart AppImage Run Cura
Adding Printers to Cura
Settings > Printer > Add a non-networked printer... Scroll down to
CraftUnique > CraftBot Plus Add Printer
Settings > Printer > Manage Printers Select
CraftBot Plus > Machine Settings Go to
Extruder tab on the right hand side Under
Nozzle Settings > Compatible material diameter > Set to 1.75mm > Close
Load your STL or OBJ file
Manipulate your model as necessary (rotate, scale, etc)
NOTE: Our profiles have been preloaded with optimized settings designed to work well for most prints. Please do not alter them until you familiarize yourself with how our printers operate.
Recommended Default Settings:
Layer Height: 0.2mm
Wall Thickness: 0.8 mm
Infill Percentage: 20%
Print Temperature: 210° C
Bed Temperature: 60° C
Print Speed: 45 mm/s
Click 'Prepare' (bottom right corner)
'Save to File/Save to Removable Drive' (save as GCODE)
For a more thorough overview, please refer to the in-depth guides located at the Ultimaker Cura website: