Q: Where do I get the new Intro to 3D Printing Handout and Cura Settings profiles to get started printing to the Ender-3 printers?
A: Download them here!
Q: Where do I download the latest version of Cura?
A: Download it here!
Q: Where is the Z-calibration, XYZ Calibration, Automatic Bed Leveling, and other automatic settings?
A: The Ender-3 printers do not include these features. While it is possible to upgrade these printers through 3rd party addons to add such features, I have not found that they are necessary to get very high quality prints.
Q: How do you calibrate or level the bed on these printers?
A: There are four large wheels on the bottom of the bed which adjust the height of the four corners. The printers are currently calibrated for all PLA materials. There is a GCODE file located on the microSD card called DeZi_Levelling Assistant. “Print” this file and it will run you through a prompted calibration that moves the nozzle to each of the 4 corners three times and then goes to the center so you can verify the height. The printer will beep and the screen will say “Waiting for user…”. Press the knob to proceed to the next step.
Note: When calibrating for PLA, there should be 1 paper’s width of clearance between the nozzle and the glass. A piece of paper inserted here will give some resistance when pulled.
Q: What if I want to print PETG or flexible material (ie TPU)?
A: For PETG, you will want to run the DeZi Leveling Assistant and increase the distance between the nozzle and glass in each of the four corners such that a business card or heavy card stock fits just snugly and gives some resistance when pulled. Flexible material should be fine as long as nozzle temp is not increased beyond 245°C.
(more filament questions at the bottom of the FAQ)
Q: How do I print to the Ender-3 printers?
A: Using Cura or other slicer software, produce a GCODE file specific to the Ender-3. By loading the Chris Elkins cura profile project, the Ender-3 printer will be added to Cura. Now connect to one of the Ender-3 printers by navigating to the correct website (see the sign on the wall) and upload your GCODE file.
Q: Do you recommend specific Cura settings or profile?
A: I’ve posted my preferred Ender-3 profile based on a profile produced by Chris Elkins. He spent months tweaking profiles until he got one that works well on these Creality printers.
Q: What if I want to print miniatures for tabletop gaming (D&D, Warhammer, etc.) or other parts with extremely high detail?
A: I’ve posted a profile specifically for miniatures called Siepie. It’s from 3dprintedtabletop.com.
Q: How do I remove parts from the printer?
A: Carefully use the scraping tool (putty knife) to separate the part from the printer in a rabid jabbing motion. If you want to make your life easier, apply a coat of Elmer’s school gluestick to the bed in the area you’ll be printing. The part will stick well, but also come up easily when scraped.
Q: Where do learn more about 3D printing?
A: We will be offering Intro to 3D Printing classes on a regular basis. The next one is June 19th. Intermediate and Advanced classes are also in the planning stages. (edited)
Q: What if I want to print textured filament containing wood, metal, fibers, or glow-in-the-dark filament?
A: All of these filaments are “rough” and quickly hollow out the standard 0.4mm nozzle currently fitted on these printers. Such materials will *damage* them. In the future, we will likely be designating one printer as a “toughened” printer with a hardened nozzle and a temperature and moisture-controlled enclosure.
Q: What if I want to print ABS, Nylon, or other exotic material?
A: ABS produces noxious fumes. Further, ABS shrinks slightly as it prints, causing layer separation. The recommended setup for ABS is an enclosure with a vent to outside. We do not have this currently setup. Nylon requires a higher temperature to print than the PTFE-based Bowden tube currently installed on these printers can handle. We’ll be ordering a tube that can handle the higher temps. We’ll also need to build a dry enclosure as Nylon must be kept dry before and during printing to maintain its incredible strength.