From vector-space.org
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Shop Area: Rapid Prototyping

Tool: 3D Printing

Requires in-person training: No

Procedure Number

UG 120-01, Rev. 2




Lulzbot TAZ6
Lulzbot TAZ6


This document is a guide for using the following 3D Printers:

  • Lulzbot Mini 2
  • 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.




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

  1. Go to the Thingiverse website (https://www.thingiverse.com)
  2. Click the Search bar at the top and type in what you’re looking for, then hit Enter.
  3. Select a thing by clicking on it.
  4. Click “Download All Files”. This should download the STL(s) necessary for creating the print.

Using TinkerCad for 3D Modeling

  1. Visit TinkerCad’s website (https://www.tinkercad.com)
  2. Create your account if you have not done so already. Then, log into your account.
  3. Click “Create New Design” on your dashboard.
  4. Create your design.
    For an introduction on how to use TinkerCad, visit https://www.tinkercad.com/learn.
  5. 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).

  1. Select the parts you want to include in the STL file.
    Use Ctrl+Click to select multiple items.
  2. 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

All printers are connected to OctoPrint servers, which allows for remote access within the Space.

Both LulzBots 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.

Slicing with Slic3r

Slic3r is an open-source 3D model slicing software. Files from here can uploaded to the printers through Octoprint or by SD card.

  1. Start Slic3r.
    1. Open the Applications menu on your computer and click “Development” → “Slic3r”
    2. In the right pane, select the profiles for print settings (quality), filament, and printer.
    3. Open your STL file by clicking “Add” at the top left.
  2. Configure the print as needed.
    1. Ensure your material selection matches what is loaded in the printer.
    2. If you want to tweak the temperature, click the gear icon next to “Filament”.
  3. Slice and save your GCODE.
    1. Save your GCODE by clicking Export G-code in the right pane.

Printing via Octoprint

  1. Connect to the Octoprint server for your printer.
    1. Taz: http://taz.vector-space.org
    2. Mini: http://mini.vector-space.org
    3. Gigabot: http://gigabot.vector-space.org
  2. Log in using the credentials found printed on the sign at the printers.
  3. Upload your GCODE.
    1. Scroll down to the “Upload” button.
    2. Select your GCODE file.
  4. Start the print by clicking the printer icon below your uploaded GCODE in the file list. Your print will begin automatically.

Printing via SD Card

Note: Printing from an SD card bypasses OctoPrint COMPLETELY, which may cause issues with OctoPrint. Use this method only if OctoPrint is non-functional.

  1. Load the SD card into the Gigabot or Taz 6.
    1. Make sure to reboot the printer by turning the power switch off, waiting for the LCD screen to turn off, and then turning the power switch back on again. This will allow it to recognize the SD card.
  2. Use the printer's LCD interface to open your GCODE file for printing.
    1. Press the control knob to open the main menu.
    2. Scroll to “SD Card”, select it, and then scroll to the file you want to print.
    3. Once selected, the printer will begin the printing process 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.

Filament Configuration

These are the suggested temperatures for printing. Note: All temperatures are written in Celsius. If any information should be added or adjusted, please contact Dustin Thomas via Slack.

Filament Extruder Temp Bed Temp Cooling fan? Special Instructions
PLA 180-220°C 55-65°C
ABS 220-235°C 80-110°C
PETG 220-225°C 60-85°C
NinjaFlex N95 190-200° Room Temp-50°C After first layer

Replacing Filament

  1. Select the filament you would like to load.
  2. Heat the extruder head.
    1. Log onto the OctoPrint control panel for the printer you are replacing filament in.
    2. Open the “Temperature” tab. Set the temperature on the tool you want to heat to the melting point of the filament you are using.
  3. Replace the filament.
    1. Undo the latch on the extruder, and remove the filament currently in the printer.
    2. 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.
    3. Manually push the filament into the extruder until it extrudes out the hot nozzle. Re-latch the extruder bearing.
  4. Turn off the heater.
    1. Click the arrow next to the checkmark button and select “Off”.


Common Errors

If the printer has a software error, Octoprint will kill the printer. While the error displayed on the printer may not be informative, the Octoprint console should give some more information.

Probing Failure

A probing failure usually means that the printer could not probe one of the four corners successfully. This could be caused by a few potential issues.

  • First, try cleaning the nozzle with one of the green pads.
  • If that doesn't fix the issue, check the leveling of the print bed. This can be fixed using this procedure.


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:

  1. Turn temperature up to 230°C if using PLA-based filament, or 290°C for other materials and allow nozzle to reach temperature.
  2. Open extruder idler.
  3. Pull filament out of the extruder.
  4. Trim off end of filament.
  5. 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.
  6. Pull filament back out, see if there is anything stuck to the filament and trim off again.
  7. 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:

  1. Using either HIPS or PLA turn your nozzle to the proper temperature for that material.
  2. Once up to temperature, extrude several mm of filament.
  3. Turn your temperature down, for HIPS use 140°C, for PLA use 100°C.
  4. 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.
  5. Check for foreign particles or gaps in your mold of the nozzle.
  6. 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