UCL Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering
Staff/Student Intranet

3d-printing

There is a range of 3D printers available in the teaching lab to produce quick prototype structures made out of various plastics.

TAZ.jpgWe have a number of LULZBOT TAZ 4 / 5 and  CEL Robox Printers

All of the printers use fused filament fabrication technology (FFF) and require your design to be in an STL format.

Software For Creating Model

There are a number of different packages on the market that you can design your model with and also export an SLT file.  2 packages I recommend (also installed on lab computers) are

Designspark Mechanical

This is a freeware design package produced by RS Electronics, it is very easy to use and we recommend this for anyone new to 3D design and printing. It may not have all the powerful features of the advanced packages but the learning curve is small and you can turn out designs very quickly.

https://www.rs-online.com/designspark/mechanical-software

Solidworks

solid

Professional advance 3D / 2D CAD package. You can design, animate and introduce environmental variables to your design. I would not recommend this for the 1st time designer that has never touched a cad package; if you put the time in to learn Solidworks the models\designs you create will be heading towards a professional level and lots of companies and workshops use this package so it is well worth the time learning if you have it. 

http://www.solidworks.co.uk/sw/products/3d-cad/solidworks-standard.htm

LULZBOT TAZ

TAZ.jpgThe Lulzbot Taz printers are large form factor printers thus they can print large objects. Maximum build size is 270mm x 270mm x 220mm.

The Taz printers are not enclosed due to there size printing with HIPS and ABS can be a problem see use if you wish to use these materials.

The Taz 4 is setup to print with a rubber material (NinjaFlex). This material is highly flexible and strong allowing the creation of flexible parts.

The Taz 5 is setup to print sold plastics like PLA, ABS, HIPS, Nylon, T-Glase etc.

The Taz 5 Duel Head is setup to print a mix of flexible and solid materials allowing the creation of semi-ridged structures.

Using The Printer

1x SD Card is required to save your model.

Materials available

  • PLA (Velleman)
  • ABS (Velleman)
  • HIPS (village Plastics)
  • T-glase (Taulman)
  • Nylon 645 (Talman)
  • NinjaFlex (advance mode required and material profile downloaded here)

The model can be designed in any 3D CAD package that can export\save your model as an STL File.

Run Cura on a lab computer</p/>

If using your own computer\laptop Cura for the Taz can be downloaded from https://www.lulzbot.com/Cura.

On 1st use you maybe asked to setup the printer especially if this is on your own computer.

 Choose the following options (These are critical if you are not sure see a lab technician)

Settings for TAZ5 (Solid material i.e PLA, ABS, etc)

  • Machine = Taz4 or Taz5
  • TAZ 4-5 Selection = Stock TAZ 5 (PEI & v2)
  • Nozzle size = 0.5mm
  • Finish

If any options for installing drivers\firmware are requested after these steps. PLEASE skip them they are not required.

When cura loads you will need to setup another TAZ.

Select machine and add new machine

Settings for TAZ 4 (flexible material i.e NinjaFlex)

  • Machine = Taz4 or Taz5
  • TAZ 4-5 Selection = Modified TAZ 4 or 5
  • Bed Surface = PEI
  • Tool Head Hot End = v1 (Budaschnozzle)
  • Tool Head Selection = Flexystruder v1
  •  Finish

If any options for installing drivers\firmware are requested after these steps. PLEASE skip them they are not required.

Select Machine and choose TAZ5 for solid print or Taz4 for flexible .

On the left hand side.

Select All under Material ease of use.

Select the material you want to use.

If material is not listed or printing flexible see a technician as a material profile is required.

Load your Model (STL file) and rotate the model so it lays flat with minimum over hangs.

Select print profile as Standard.

Select if required a Print support structure.

Select Print a brim. (always recommended to stop\reduce warping at the base)

Save code to SD Card.

To Print see a technician for a 1st time breif operational guide to printing your model.

Dual head printing see lab technicians, as this is advanced printing and calibration must be done before for each user

CEL ROBOX

CEL Robox.pngThe CEL Robox printers are smaller printers but can print finer detailed models and print within a heated chamber to reduce warping and delamination when using materials such as ABS and HIPS.

There are 2 ROBOX printers in the lab that can can be used with a maximum build area of 200mm x 140mm x 100mm. The material has to be on a smart reel which the printer communicates with to obtain the material profile.

We keep a stock of ABS and PLA for these printers but they can print using other materials listed below.

  • HIPS
  • NYLON
  • PC
  • PVA

Using the printer

Plug in the USB cable from the Robox to a lab computer. (usually the computer next to the robox is connected).

Run the software Automaker.

Automaker can be downloaded and installed on you personal computers from CEL. http://www.cel-robox.com/downloads/

Wait for the printer to connect and show up in the software, you will see on the left what material is loaded and and picture of the printer.

Select Layout

If a model is shown on the print bed click on at a delete.</p/

>Select Add Model and load your STL file.</p/>

Your model should appear on the bed.

If your model is off the bed or not flat to the bed; Click on your model, drag it onto the bed and rotate it using the menu to that it is flat to the bed.

Select -> To Settings

Go to the Print quality to the top right and choose the quality.

  • Draft = Fast print speed - Low accuracy - low detail.
  • Use this for low resolution rough prints and if you want to get a rough idea of how your model will look \ behave.
  • Normal = Slow print speed - Reasonable accuracy - mid range detail.  Use this for normal everyday prints and reasonable quality, will suit most 3d print items.
  • Fine = Very Slow - High Detail - Good accuracy.  Only use on small objects or items that require very tight tolerances. Used rarely as this option can take the printer a long time produce parts.

Go to the profile

Select raft only if the material used adheres strongly to the bed. Leave unticked for PLA and ABS it is not required.

Select support if there are any over hangs or areas that require support.</p/>

Select the fill density value to be between 20% to 50% depending on how solid/strong the model has to be. Recommended to be 25% for almost all prints.

Look inside the printer make sure the bed and wiper blade is clear and clean.

close the front panel and click > Make .

Once the model has been sliced and unloaded the USB cable can be disconnected and printer left to do its job.