Tool Location

3D Printers

Tool Type

Software

Additional Information

Installation Manual

Overview

Cura is the slicer used to configure 3d printing files for all the fleet printers. It outputs a file that can be read by the 3d printers telling them what and how to print a part. Cura can be used to adjust print attributes such as infill, supports, and print quality.

How To Use This Tool

Setup
  1. Make sure the file for the print is either a .stl, .obj, or .3MF.
  2. Open Cura on either a personal computer or the computers by the 3D printers in the Invention Studio.
  3. Ensure that the correct printer is being used. It should write the printer model at the top right of the program.
Operation ^
  1. Open the part from printing by navigating File>Open File(s) and then selecting parts for printing. An alternative is to select the files in File Explorer and dragging the files into Cura.
  2. The part should appear on the simulated print bed.
  3. Clicking on the part makes the movement menu on the left clickable. Here, location adjustments can be made. The choices are as follows: Move, Scale, Rotate, Mirror. Either inputting numerical values or dragging the movement arrows on the part can perform the operation selected.
  4. Ensure the part is flat on the print bed by using Rotation. Typically, the side with the least number of features should face down on the bed and overhanging features should be minimized for a better print quality.
  5. To multiply the part, right click on the part and select Multiply Selected Model. By selecting 1, an additional copy of the part will be made.
  6. Arrange the parts on the build plate and ensure there are gaps between each part. Use either the Move function or right click and select Arrange All Models.
  7. Adjust the print settings to the desired settings on the right of the program. Layer height will adjust the thickness of the print layers. Thicker heights also allow for faster prints. Infill determines the density of the print. Higher percentage of infill creates more solid parts. Typically, 20% works perfectly. Always select Generate Support and Build Plate Adhesion. If more custom settings are desired, select custom and more settings will be made available. Check the manual for more information.
  8. At the bottom right of Cura, select Prepare Print. This will slice the model and determine about how long the print will take.
  9. When the part is sliced, the same button will become a Save to File button. Save this file because it is the file 3D printers will use to understand what to print.
  10. Send the file to the printer. [maybe mention 3dprint os]
Basic Troubleshooting

If the file is not loading on Cura, ensure that the file is either a .stl or .obj. If it is, regenerate the model and try again. If that is not working, restart Cura.

If the part moves to an odd location or orientation, right clicking anywhere on the print bed and selecting Reset All Model Positions and Reset All Model Transformations will reset the part on the bed.

References:

Ultimaker. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://ultimaker.com/

Author Information

Article was written by Constantine Venizelos, and edited by Veronica Spencer.

Last Updated: August 15 2018.

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