Makerbot’s Replicator 2 prints using a 1.75 mm bioplastic filament called PLA (in many colors!). Think of it as a hot glue gun that lays down plastic in 100 micron layers. Build size in inches is 11 L x 6 W x 6 H. At 6 cents per gram, it’s very inexpensive. Time to print varies greatly and ranges from approximately 1-6 hours per inch in height. The models are fairly durable, but removing the support material can be difficult.
Time to Print
Models take from 1-36 hours to print, based on size. We will attempt to print multiple models at once when possible. Students should plan to queue their files several days in advance of deadlines.
How to Prepare Model for Printing
- Your 3D Model should be created in 3D Studio Max or Cinema 4D. Once created, if your part has separate components it should be collapsed into one editable poly object. Export the Polygon Mesh as an STL file.
- Select the mesh, then click File > Export Selected. Change the Save As Type to STL. When the File Type Options appears, choose BINARY.
- After creating the STL file, we recommend checking your model in Magics, which is a software program available on the lab computers. Magics has a Fix Wizard which will repair common problems. Click Tools, Fix Wizard. Click the Update button to see what errors are present. You can then click 'Go to Advised Step' to walk through the fix-it steps. Or you can pick an area to work on such as 'Normals' and do automatic or manual fixing. Sometimes the automatic fixing can drastically change the model so use with care. Other useful tools under the Tools menu are Triangle Reduction, Extrude, Offset Part, and Smoothing. If you make changes to the model in Magics, use File > Save Part As to keep it in the STL format.
Examples from Intro to Programming
Increment by Anthony Absher
Ellipses follow mouse position while incrementally changing RGB colors. Click to clear the canvas and start. new.