Shop Area: Rapid Prototyping
Tool: 3D Printing
Requires in-person training: No
UG 120-01, Rev. 2
We are in the process of migrating to Octoprint printer management software. Please note that procedures may change. Check this page for more details on new procedures.
This document is a guide for using the following 3D Printers:
- Lulzbot Mini
- Lulzbot TAZ6
- Gigabot GB2
- Do not remove material from the printer before it has cooled.
- Clean up clutter, debris and flammable materials at the printer after use.
- Troubleshooting Guide (https://www.simplify3d.com/support/print-quality-troubleshooting/)
- PrintBite+ bed surface guide (https://flex3drive.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/PrintBite-Instructions.pdf)
- 3dprinteros.com tutorial (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yq7Uws9BTxI)
- Cura Profiles
In order to print, you must have an STL file created in a CAD software. These can either be obtained online or you can create them yourself.
Obtaining STLs via Thingiverse
- Go to the Thingiverse website (https://www.thingiverse.com)
- Click the Search bar at the top and type in what you’re looking for, then hit Enter.
- Select a thing by clicking on it.
- Click “Download All Files”. This should download the STL(s) necessary for creating the print.
Using TinkerCad for 3D Modeling
- Visit TinkerCad’s website (https://www.tinkercad.com)
- Create your account if you have not done so already. Then, log into your account.
- Click “Create New Design” on your dashboard.
- Create your design.
For an introduction on how to use TinkerCad, visit https://www.tinkercad.com/learn.
- Click “Export” on the top right and ensure that “The Entire Design” is checked. Then, select “STL” on the popup. This should download the STL necessary for creating the print.
Exporting Certain Selections
In TinkerCad, you may only want to export certain parts of your 3D object to an STL (for example, in multi-part prints or for dual extrusion).
- Select the parts you want to include in the STL file.
Use Ctrl+Click to select multiple items.
- Click “Export on the top right and ensure that “The Selected Shape” is checked. Then, select “STL” on the popup. This should download an STL with the current selection.
Slicing and Printing
The LulzBots are connected to OctoPrint servers, which allows for remote access within the Space.
Both printers have PrintBite surfaces on the beds, and therefore do NOT need a glue stick, blue tape, etc. to adhere.
Note: As we are transitioning to OctoPrint, some functionality may not be set up yet, such as having Cura fully configured. Please bear with us as we get everything reconfigured.
Cura is an open-source 3D printer management software. Files from here can be uploaded to SD cards to print on the LulzBot Taz or the GigaBot or to OctoPrint.
Note: Printing from an SD card bypasses any printer management software COMPLETELY. The printer will NOT function properly through 3DPrinterOS or Octoprint. Use this method only if 3DPrinterOS is non-functional.
- Start Cura.
- Open the Applications menu on your computer and click “Graphics” → “Cura”
- Select the profile most similar to what filament you are using by clicking “File” → “Open Profile”.
The profiles can be found on the LulzBot website, and on the GigaBot wiki.
- Open your STL file by clicking “Open File” on the left side.
- Configure the print as needed.
- Ensure your material is set up properly by checking “Material” on the top right.
- Adjust settings in “Print Setup”.
- You can adjust settings in more detail on the “Custom” tab. If the amount of settings available is limited, click ☰ → “Advanced” or “Expert”.
- If you want to tweak the temperature, it will be under “Material”.
- Slice and save your GCODE.
- Ensure your SD card is connected to the computer and mounted.
This can be accomplished by entering the file manager and opening the SD card.
- Click “Save to File” on the bottom right.
If the button says “Prepare”, click it. It will take a second to slice, but then the button should work normally.
- Save the file to your computer or SD card by navigating through the file manager to your desired location.
- Eject your SD card.
- Ensure your SD card is connected to the computer and mounted.
Printing via SD Card
- Load the SD card into the Gigabot or Taz 6.
- Use the printer's LCD interface to open your GCODE file for printing.
- Once selected, the printer will begin the printing process automatically.
Printing via Octoprint
- Connect to the Octoprint server for your printer.
- Log in using the credentials found printed on the sign at the printers.
- Upload your GCODE.
- Scroll down to the “Upload” button.
- Select your GCODE file.
- Start the print by clicking the printer icon below your uploaded GCODE in the file list. Your print will begin automatically.
The Lulzbots and Gigabot use 2.85 or 3mm filament. They can also use 1.75mm filament, but the likelihood of failure is much higher.
Note: This procedure must be rewritten with instructions for Octoprint.
- Select the filament you would like to load.
- Heat the extruder head.
- In 3DPrinterOS, manually set the nozzle temperature to the melting point of the filament currently loaded in the printer by going to “Printers” → “Tools” → “Joystick” → “Extruders” → “Set temperature”.
- Replace the filament.
- Undo the latch on the extruder, and remove the filament currently in the printer.
- Cut a small amount of filament off of the new filament at about a 45 degree angle to assist in loading.
The tool is found in the 3d printing tool drawer.
- Manually push the filament into the extruder until it extrudes out the hot nozzle. Re-latch the extruder bearing.
- Turn off the heater.
- Click “Cooldown” on the 3DPrinterOS printer joystick.
- Use the controls on the LCD display to select “Cooldown”.
Unclogging Printer Hot End
If you have been using PLA or PLA-based materials, you shouldn't set the temperature past 230°C. Do not let PLA sit at high temperatures near 230°C for extended periods of time. If you have been using other filaments you can set the temperature higher up to 290°C.
- If there is no filament flow at all:
- Turn temperature up to 230°C if using PLA-based filament, or 290°C for other materials and allow nozzle to reach temperature.
- Open extruder idler.
- Pull filament out of the extruder.
- Trim off end of filament.
- Push filament back down into the extruder and see if you can get any filament out. You can push fairly hard against the extruder to get this to work.
- Pull filament back out, see if there is anything stuck to the filament and trim off again.
- Repeat process several times to see if you can get nozzle flowing again.
- If there is flow but it seems partially blocked, thin, or is "pig-tailing" out of the nozzle:
- Using either HIPS or PLA turn your nozzle to the proper temperature for that material.
- Once up to temperature, extrude several mm of filament.
- Turn your temperature down, for HIPS use 140°C, for PLA use 100°C.
- Once the temperature is reached, open the extruder idler and pull out the filament.
You should have a perfect mold of the inside of the hot end. The end of the filament should taper to a cylinder that is the size of your nozzle and have a nozzle sized cylinder that is about 1mm long.
- Check for foreign particles or gaps in your mold of the nozzle.
- Repeat steps as necessary for cleaning the extruder nozzle.
Print Lifting from Bed
Clean the bed surface with soapy water. Do NOT use abrasives or strong chemicals like isopropyl alcohol.
Print Stuck to Bed
Heat the bed to about 50°C to loosen the printed part, then the part should come off with relative ease.
Print Not Adhering to Bed
Do NOT use a glue stick, blue tape, or other adhesives as advised by the internet. The PrintBite bed surfaces will be damaged with these tactics. Find the correct temperature and orientation for your print and it will adhere well. You can also try adding a brim or making your brim larger.
END OF THE PROCEDURE