Octoprint is an open source web interface for 3D printers. It allows you to wirelessly print from any computer connected to the network.
A full set of features and instructions can be found at octoprint.org
Here's how to use it:
Pick the printer you want to use
Prepare the printer for printing
- If there is a previous print on the bed, remove it.
- Load the Filament that you want to use.
- Tape the bed with masking tape.
- Ensure that the printer has enough space to complete it's full range of motion.
Prepare your file for printing
There are two ways to send your print information to the octoprint server, with an STL or with GCODE.
To upload a file drag and drop it right into the octoprint browser window.
When uploading an STL, a popup window will appear asking you how you want to slice it. The only parameter you need to focus on is Slicing profile. There are three slicing profiles to choose from:
- The part will be printed with a brim (this is the default)
- A brim is a series of rings only one layer tall to increase surface contact with the bed
- Brim and Support
- The part will be printed with a brim aand support material everywhere there is an overhang.
- The part will be printed on a Raft
- A raft is a printed plastic scaffolding that helps the part stick to the buildplate.
- Raft and Support
- The part will be printed on a raft with support material everywhere there is an overhang.
Once you're happy with the slicing settings, click slice. When slicing is complete (this may take some time depending on the complexity of the model) a green popup window will appear in the top right hand corner and a gcode version of the file will appear in the file list.
Reasons why you would want to use an external slicer:
- You want to print more than one stl at a time
- You want to use different slicing settings
- printing without a raft
- speeding up prints with tuning
- change the layer height
- You want to see the stl before you print it
- You want to scale or rotate the stl before you print it
To print a file click the "Load and Print" button next to the gcode file.
Watch your print
Once the extruder comes to temperature, the printing will begin. It's important to watch your print for the first 5 layers to ensure that everything is going smoothly. The first layer is the most important, if this layer fails to stick properly, your whole print will be ruined. If you're having adhesion issues, check out this page. The machine will print a 4-5 layer raft and then begin to print your part on top. There is a possibility of the print failing at this point also. If you think your print has failed, stop it. Fix the issue that caused it to fail and try to print it again. If you're unsure why the print failed, take a picture of it and let one of the mentors know. If they don't know how to fix it, they will know who can.
To change filament on an octoprinter:
- Log into that printer's webpage.
- Preheat the extruder.
- In the temperature tab, select the preheat temperature from the dropdown menu beside set under target.
- For PLA it's 205.
- For ABS it's 230.
- Wait for the extruder to come to temperature.
- The graph displays the target temperature and current temperature.
- While pressing down on the aluminum tensioner lever, pull the filament up and out of the extruder.
- Neatly wrap the filament and secure the end.
- We want to avoid tangles here, they lead to failed prints.
- Select the filament you want to use and load it on the spool holder.
- Remove any tangles from the filament where the live end crosses under another strand.
- While the extruder is still hot, insert the live end into the hole in the aluminum while holding the tensioner down.
- Guide the filament past the knurled wheel and into the hot end. It should go down about 5cm.
- Keep pushing the filament with the tensioner held down until the colour of the extrusion matches the new filament.
- Turn off the extruder heater with the dropdown menu by clicking "off".
- You're ready to do some octoprinting!
How to pay for your print
Printer time is free but you have to pay for filament that you use after you've printed. All the standard PLA filament is $0.10 per cubic centimeter. This includes support material and failed prints.
How to pay:
1. Complete your print.
2. Check how much filament you've used. This is located on the left hand side of the Octoprint screen. For example, "Filament (Tool 0): 0.66m / 1.58cm³". The SECOND number is the amount of filament used (1.58cm).
3. Record what you used in the member purchases form (http://www.steamlabs.ca/memberpurchases) and a staff member will process it on the credit card attached to your account. If you're not sure where this is or how to record what you used, ask a staff member. Please remember that failed prints also need to be accounted for.
This is how we calculate the cost of your print:
Round the second number up (always up) to the next whole number and multiply by 0.1 to get the cost in dollars.
For example "Filament (Tool 0): 0.66m / 1.58cm³" round up to 2cm³ multiply by 0.1 = 0.2 or 20 cents.