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3D Printing at the Innovation Space: 4. 3D Printing with the Taz 5

How-To Guide for 3D Printing

3. 3D Printing with the Taz 5

To print with the Taz 5, follow the steps below after you have verified that your model has no errors or has been repaired.

1. Load Your Model into Cura

Cura LulzBot Edition is a Free Software program that both prepares your files for printing (by converting your model into GCODE), and also allows you to control the operation of the LulzBot

1.1. Open the Cura software by clicking the icon on the desktop.

 

1.2. Click the "Open File" button to load your model into Cura.


 

There are multiple ways to interact with your model once it is loaded.

Viewing Options

1.3. Click the "Normal" button to access the viewing options. The viewing options are:

  • Normal - The standard view and shows the solid outer surfaces of the model.
  • Overhang - Overhang mode shows where your model may need support material.
  • Ghost - Ghost view mode makes the model translucent to allow you to see what is
    behind it.
  • Xray - Similar to Ghost mode, Xray mode will alow you to see into objects, ensuring that inner details are correct.
  • Layers - This mode shows the toolpath of the print head. Use the slide bar on the right hand side of the window to move up and down through the toolpath layers. This is similar to the "Print Preview" feature in the MakerBot and Afinia software.

 

Transformation Options

1.4. Click on the model to bring up transformation options. The transformation options are:

  • Rotate - This button provides the ability to re-orient the model along all three axes.
  • Scale - This button displays the model dimensions, along with the ability to scale along the X, Y, or Z axes.
  • Mirror - This button replaces the current model with a mirrored version of itself.
  • Lay Flat - This button will ensure that the flat portion of your print is securely attached to the bed.
    NOTE: The "Lay Flat" button is only available after you have transformed the model in some way.
  • Reset - This button resets the model to its appearance when it was originally loaded into Cura.
    NOTE: The "Reset" button is only available after you have transformed the model in some way.

 

2. Set the "Print Profile"

Print profiles are pre-configured settings for a range of use cases. Profiles configure the printer to appropriately handle the type of filament being used with regard to temperature, layer height, and more.

NOTE: Since our Taz5 has a dual extruder you have the option of printing with one or two filaments. Use cases for printing with two filaments at the same time include:

  • you have a model that was specifically made to be printed in two colors, or
  • your model requires supports and you want the supports to be printed in a different (i.e., dissolvable) filament.

NOTE: All print profiles are located on "This PC" in the "Documents" folder in a folder titled "Taz5 Print Profiles" (This PC:Documents\Taz5 Print Profiles).

2.1 How choose the appropriate print profile:

You want to select the appropriate print profile based on four factors:

  1. The number of filaments to print with - one or two.
  2. The type of filament to print with - ABS, PLA, and/or PVA (the dissolvable filament).
  3. Which nozzle, the front or the rear, contains which filament.
  4. The desired detail for the print, expressed as:
  • "high quality" (highest accuracy, slowest print time)
  • "medium quality" (medium accuracy, medium print time)
  • "high speed" (lowest accuracy, fastest print time)
    NOTE: In most cases, the "high speed" and "medium quality" options are more than sufficient.

2.1.a. To identify the correct profile for printing with one filament:

  1. Go to This PC:Documents\Taz5 Print Profiles\one filament, then open the folder that corresponds to the filament you plan to use (i.e., "ABS", or "PLA"). Inside this folder you will see six profiles, each differentiated in name by a combination of which nozzle contains the material you want to print with (i.e., "FRONT", or "REAR") and speed (i.e., "high-quality", "medium-quality", and "high-speed").

 

2.1.b. To identify the correct profile for printing with two filaments:

  1. Go to C:Documents\Taz5 Print Profiles\two filaments, then open the folder that corresponds to the filaments you wish to use:
  • "ABS-ABS" for printing with ABS
  • "PLA-PLA" for printing with PLA
  • "ABS-PVA" for printing with ABS on the front nozzle and PVA on the rear nozzle
  • "PVA-ABS" for printing with PVA on the front nozzle and ABS on the rear nozzle
  • "PLA-PVA" for printing with PLA on the front nozzle and PVA on the rear nozzle
  • "PVA-PLA" for printing with PVA on the front nozzle and PLA on the rear nozzle

 

In each folder name, the first filament referenced is loaded in the FRONT nozzle and the second filament listed is loaded in the REAR nozzle. Inside each folder you will see three profiles, each differentiated in name by speed (i.e., "high-quality", "medium-quality", and "high-speed").

2.2. Click the "Expert" menu, then select "Switch to Full Settings".
NOTE: Choose "Yes" if a prompt alerts you that switching to Full Settings will overwrite current settings.

 

2.3. Click the "File" menu and select "Open Profile". Then in the file system window, navigate to C:Documents, and select the "Taz5 Print Profiles" folder. Lastly, select the appropriate print profile based on your choice from section 2.1 above.

 

3. Start Printing

Make sure both printer power switches are turned on (one on the left side of the printer, the other on the black box seated next to the printer with the Lulzbot logo).

You can print to the Taz 5 from Cura or from an SD card inserted into the printer itself.

 

Printing from an SD card on the Taz 5

3.A.1. Once your model is ready and the proper print profile is loaded, click the "File" menu and select "Save GCode".

3.A.2. Save the .gcode file to the SD card.
NOTE: You can also bring in a .gcode file on a USB drive and load it into the SD card to print.

3.A.3. Insert the SD card into the card slot near the printer's LCD screen.

3.A.4. Press the knob button to bring up the menu.

3.A.5. Turn the knob until the option "Print from SD" is selected, then press the knob button.

3.A.6. Turn the knob to scroll through the card's files until your model file is highlighted, then press the knob button.

Your print will begin as soon as the set temperatures are reached.

 

Printing from Cura on the computer

3.B.1. Once your model is ready and the proper print profile is loaded, click the "Control" button.

 

Once Cura connects to the printer (about 5 seconds), you'll be able to control the nozzle and bed via the "Control" interface.

 

Cura's "Control" options are as follows:

X and Y axes directional movement:

  • This control allows you to move the nozzle along the X and Y axes, no matter the z height of the nozzle.
  • The outside most circle moves the nozzle in the specified direction 100mm per press.
  • The next smaller sized circle moves the nozzle in the specified direction 10mm per press.
  • The next smaller circle moves the nozzle in the specified direction 1mm per press.
  • The inner most circle moves the nozzle in the specified direction 0.1mm per press.

 

Z directional movement:

  • The nozzle's Z axis height can be moved in 0.1mm, 1mm, and 10mm increments per press in either direction.
    NOTE: It is very important that the nozzle not collide with the bed surface. Only move the nozzle in 0.1mm increments when decreasing the Z axis point close to the bed.

 

Home buttons:

 

There are four "Home" buttons:

  • One for each axis (X,Y,Z) and,
  • One for the printer's home position where all new prints begin.

Clicking the "Home" button for any one axis brings the nozzle to the zero (0) point for that axis. Pressing the printer's Home button brings the nozzle to the zero (0,0,0) point for all three axes.

 

Extrude/Retract filament:

Filament can be extruded in 10 mm increments per press in either direction.

NOTE: The nozzle should be warmed up to the appropriate temperature for the present filament before pressing the "Extrude/Retract" button.

 

Nozzle and Bed Temperatures:

The nozzle and bed temperatures can be set (in Celsius) manually from the control window.

NOTE: Temperatures set in the control window will be overridden by temperatures set in the print profile once the print begins.

 

3.B.2. To print, press the "Print" button in the control window.

Your print will begin as soon as the set temperatures are reached.

 

4. Pay for and Pick Up Your Print

4.1. Make a note about the total print time and filament usage estimates. This information is found directly underneath the "Control" button once a model has been loaded.

 

4.2. Then fill out the 3D Print Job Submission Form.

4.3. Pay for your print with cash or credit card and pick it up at the library's front Information Desk.

 

Further Resources for the Taz 5 and Cura Lulzbot Edition Software