This is an old revision of the document!


3D Printers

Never leave any filament 3D printer running unattended. They are all capable of burning down HSBNE if something goes wrong.

:?: These machines are maintained by members of the Digital Fabrication Cause. Please speak with the listed maintainer before trying to maintain them.

These people know the ins and outs of 3D printing and are generally happy to help out when needed:

  • Steph Piper (@sjpiper145)
  • Brendan Halliday (@nogthree)
  • Aaron Bycroft (@Sgt.Dicks)
  • Drew Spriggs (@dreadnought_strength)
  • Jaimyn Mayer (@jabelone) (currently not available to assist)

If you consider yourself in the know, add yourself to the list! (but ask one of us first so we can keep track)

If you follow these basic design tips when creating 3D models, you'll get the best results:

  • Avoid overhangs - the printers work by building up plastic layer by layer, it can't lay down plastic into thin air! (or can it?)
  • Shallow overhangs are OK - anything steeper than about 30 degrees from vertical will have poor results. (ie |/ between those two lines should be <30 degrees)
  • Use “Bridges” - if you have a gap between two sections (ie |-|) it can normally be “bridged” as it's supported on both sides. Bridges <1-2cm work best.
  • The vertical (Z) axis is weakest due to the layered design. Try to design parts with the X/Y axis bending/taking the force instead of the Z axis. Think of Lego blocks, it's much harder to break a single long piece than a tall stack of short pieces.
  • If you need something to fit together exactly, make it slightly bigger or smaller than necessary, depending on how it's supposed to fit. 3D printed parts generally don't produce 100% dimensionally accurate parts (but are pretty darn close for most stuff).
  • Don't be afraid to use bearings, screws and nuts/bolts. If something needs to turn use a bearing, plastic on plastic isn't smooth and won't last. If you need to attach parts to each other or something else, using screws or nuts/bolts is fine. (remember the tip above, try to clamp/compress layers, not split them)

HSBNE's fleet of 3D printers are maintained by members who volunteer their time to keep the machines working so that you can print things. All of our printers have personalities and battle-scars, so before you do anything to maintain them it's worth checking with the maintainer first. There could be specific models for replacement parts that you need.

When using the 3D printers it helps the maintainers if you clean the bed when you're done, a wipe-down with some IPA will clean the bed on the Taz, the chang-yi i3 and the space-i2. On the pelrun-i2 you will need to speak to James as this is his personal machine on loan to HSBNE.

Try not to leave any debris or print detritus around the printers too, as they may get caught up in the mechanical parts, and mess attracts more mess. Don't see a profile that works for your printing needs? Check out the Octoprint Configurations below.

Octoprint is set up on each machine to use Cura as its slicer.

The slicing profiles for each machine are stored in their own branches in this github repo: Configuration files for our 3D printers

This cron job will remove all print files older than 7 days. Without it, the Octoprint interface fills up very quickly. It's here for reference:

# Remove all stl/gcode files older than 7 days
0 0 * * * find /home/pi/.octoprint/uploads -mindepth 1 -mtime +7 -delete
  • tools/digitalfabrication/3dprinters/home.1579326704
  • Last modified: 7 weeks ago
  • (external edit)