1. Assignment Type: Individual
  2. For RIC students only
  3. Estimated time required: 60 minutes
  4. Due by second week of class
  5. Typical Points Possible: 10
  6. U.C. Berkeley Students: Find specific due dates and times in Bcourses.

Preparing a 3D CAD file for 3D Printing. “Build Prep”.

Why is this assignment valuable for my career?

A: There are two main reasons:

  1. Hardware prototyping has been dramatically improved by access to low-cost 3D printing, you should understand its limits and capabilities. Your ability to understand how they work and manage others in their strategic use will be key to your prototyping success. Understanding the workflow of desktop extrusion 3D printing (namely Fused Filament Fabrication, FFF or Fused Deposition Modeling, FDM) will give you a taste of understanding additive manufacturing more broadly.
  2. Troubleshooting skills are a must for entrepreneurs. Your ability to stay persistent, find workarounds, ask for help, find answers is key to your success as a technical entrepreneur / intrapreneur. Nothing like using open source software and a low-cost desktop 3D printer to test your troubleshooting abilities.

Review this 1-page workflow: http://bit.ly/3DPOverview

1) Find a model on Thingiverse.com to 3D Print and scale the object so it will print in less than 15 minutes.

2) Download Cura and install the Printrbot Simple Metal machine profile.

Note: there are many versions of Cura out there. The latest version *should* still work, however, Cura version 15.04.6 is known to work.  Here are some YouTube videos which may help:  

There are also more relevant setup videos in the Pages area (flipped-class content) of this course.

The 3D Printers we have in the Innovation Lab are:

  • Make: Printrbot
  • Model: Simple Metal

3) Using Cura, “slice” your Thingiverse object (*.STL file) and scale your model so it prints in LESS THAN 10 minutes.  The object will be small.  

4) Submit the *.gcode file to this Bcourses assignment. 

Use YouTube, Google and other online references to help you get started / trouble shoot issues.  Goal here is to familiarize yourself with the high-level FFF 3D printing workflow, build software (Cura environment), so you can come to class prepared to 3D print.

What will I have achieved if I fully engage in this assignment?

  1. You will have downloaded, installed and used a modern 3D printing, build prep (slicing) software used by millions of avid hardware prototyping experts.
  2. You will have ultimately troubleshooted the basics of this program and through this painful and annoying process, fully learned the ins and outs of the program itself.
  3. By importing a *.STL file to the build prep software, slicing the file and then exporting to *.gcode, you’re one step closer to enabling your use of the 3D printers located in the lab and MANY OTHER machines that utilize gcode to operate. It’s like learning a little bit of HTML, you establish some street cred in the 3D printing world having created such files.