3D Printer

Getting Started

This chapter will guide you through the basic process for using the printer. For simplicity, we'll make some assumptions about the settings to use. Once you're comfortable with the basics, we'll talk in a later chapter about what the various settings mean and how to change them. We recommend following the pages in order if it's your first time!

Getting Started

Initial Setup

Find the Dell laptop used for 3D printing, plug it in, and turn it on. It's a Dell laptop and will be labeled "3D Printer".

Getting Started

Finding Something To Print

Model Sources

If you aren’t sure what you want to print, there are many websites where folks have created models that you can print yourself. Some such websites are:

The file that you download will typically be in the STL format (e.g., in a file called "mymodel.stl"). An STL file can be visualized as a series of triangles in 3D space, some of which share vertices. By defining enough of these triangles, we can form a 3D object:

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Model "Gotchas"

Because of how 3D printers works, some models are difficult or impossible to print. There are ways to mitigate these issues, but for now, we recommend finding a model that is simple to print.

3D printers deposit very thin layers of plastic, line by line, on top of one another: