The Makerspace is equipped with 5 Dremel 3D-40 Idea Builder printers and 3 Dremel 3D-20 Idea Builder printers. Both sets of printers are functionally the same, and follow the same procedures and safety precautions.
Use and Limitations:
The Dremel 3D printers have an approximate maximum build volume of: 10” x 6” x 6.7” (255 mm x 155 mm x 170 mm). The material used for these printers is polylactic acid (PLA), which comes in an assortment of colors as shown below. Printing services are open for academic use to any UIC College of Engineering students. This means the Makerspace staff will gladly assist you in printing any parts necessary for class projects or prototyping purposes. No extensive knowledge of 3D printing is necessary. The Makerspace staff can walk you through any print, as well as deny any printing service if they believe your part/parts are unreasonable in terms of printing capabilities or purpose.
The software used to generate tool-paths for the 3D printers is called Simplify3D. The software allows you to scale, rotate, and position any part or parts before you print.
- Transfer STL files onto Makerspace flash drive if your files are saved on your computer
- Insert flash drive into the 3D printer computer
- Import files into Simplify3D from flash drive
- Make any necessary changes, center and arrange parts
- Select “Edit Process Settings” and check that everything is correct
- Save tool-paths onto a printer SD card
- Remove SD card from computer
**Some useful settings that need to be checked before saving tool-paths onto the printer SD cards are: extruder temperature (220C), supports are turned either on or off depending on print, and the layer height (300 micron).
In order to prepare for the Makerspace staff to assist you, have your part files saved as STL’s on your computer or a flash drive. After preforming the software setup follow the steps below:
- Check that the printing bed in cleared of other parts.
- Apply tape to the bed, if it is not already there
- Load SD card into the printer
- Select file to print
- Wait for the print to finish
- Remove build plate using latch at the front of the bed
- Remove print and replace tape if necessary.
The machines have parts that exceed 200C when printing – they will burn you on contact. Be mindful of the printing nozzle and never touch it with your hands
The machines can also move unexpectedly and with great force – keep hands away from machine when the machine is building an object.