Perform onboard file preparation (i.e. Slicing) using OctoPrint.
Printing an object starts with designing or downloading a 3D model, applying a set of mechanical specifications, and producing instructions that control your printer as it recreates your 3D model.
3D models are stored in a variety of formats. The most easily shared format is .stl, or STL files. STL files describe the features of an object but do not include information about how to print it. Therefore, you must use a "slicer" to convert STL files into gCode files — this translates the STL file into a set of instructions for your 3D printer to follow, allowing it to reproduce a 3D model layer-by-layer. This article will show you how to OctoPrint's built-in slicer to generate gCode files.
- Time - 10-15 minutes
- Hardware - MakerGear M3-SE or M3-ID 3D printer.
- Software - OctoPrint for MakerGear.
What You'll Learn:
- How to upload a 3D model to your MakerGear M3 3D printer.
- How to convert a 3D model into a 3D-printable format using OctoPrint's CuraEngine plugin.
- How to choose your print settings from a menu of pre-configured profiles.
- How to begin printing your project.
Before You Begin:
- Follow all "Getting Started" instructions listed in your User Guide.
- Follow all configuration, connection, and login instructions to access your M3's control interface.
- Load filament into the extruder(s).
First upload your .stl file directly to OctoPrint; you can click the upload button in your files menu and then select the file, or simply drag and drop the file into your files menu.
Slice your 3D model by clicking the magic wand icon on the right of the file listing for your model ("mgkeychain.stl" in this case).
Verify that your print settings match both the loaded filament and your 3D model's printing requirements — for example, I selected the slicing profile titled "PLA-no-support" because my 3D model does not require support; support is generally required for 3D models that include overhang features greater than 45°.
Click "Print" to begin your printing your freshly-prepared gCode file.
As shown in the image below, you can set and monitor your printer's temperatures from within the Temperature tab. Because your MakerGear M3's extruder(s) and Heated Build Platform (HBP) must finish heating before printing a .gcode file, many users choose to heat the printer before slicing in order to minimize wait time. However, clicking "Print" will automatically set the printer's heated components to the target temperatures included in each gCode file.
* To enable Auto-Prep mode, navigate to CuraEngine within the Plugin Manager and check either "select for printing" or "begin printing" for post-slicing behavior.