HOW TO PRINT
If you're already familiar with the process of 3D printing and want specific printer instructions, please see the individual printers below.
Also please note, our printers are for society members only and you must receive a (quick) induction from one of the committee members before you can use them. Just drop us an email or come along to one of our sessions if you're interested!
3D printing for the first time can be incredibly simple and straightforward. Our committee and members are happy to help you with the process, but here's an overview:
Model whatever it is you want to print in CAD software of your choice (CUED undergraduates will be most familiar with SolidWorks). Once you have a file you're happy to print, save it as an STL (some say this stands for stereolithography, but nobody really knows). STL files save a solid body as a mesh of triangles on its outer surface and are with few exceptions the format used in 3D printing. Alternatively, download an STL file for a pre-modelled object that suits your needs from a depository website such as printables.com.
Import your STL into a slicer of your choice. A slicer is a program that takes an object represented by an STL file, and generates the line-by-line code for how the motors of the 3D printer are going to move to make your part. We tend to use an open-source slicer made by Ultimaker called Cura, which we highly recommend you use for all printers unless you have a good reason to think something else is better. It's free, and should already be installed on Dyson Centre computers.
Set up the slicer for the relevant printer. Our Vanilla printer below, the Ultimaker 2+, is "stock" and has no modifications. This means you can select its profile (which refers to the dimensions of the printer and filament, as well as details about what kind of code it needs to run) directly in Cura without doing anything else. Our Pistachio and Strawberry printers are also very simple to set up, just follow the details listed on their pages below. The other two printers are more complicated, and if you'd like to use them we'd be happy to walk you through it.
Slice and save the object. Cura's default settings are more than sufficient - there are probably about 100 possible tweaks and changes you could make in any combination, and changing these can produce amazing results and effects, but the default settings are a more than sufficient starting point. All of our printers currently use an SD card, so just pop it into your or a Dyson computer and Cura should automatically have a "Save to Removable Drive" option.
Check the printer has enough filament of the correct type loaded (we recommend using PLA unless you have other specific needs).
Place the SD card into the printer and start the print by selecting that option on the printer display.
That's it! Happy printing.