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3D Printing

How to use our 3D printer

Frequently asked questions

 Is the software free?  Yes


Do I have to pay for the filament?  No


Can I print personal things unrelated to school?  Yes, as long as they are "appropriate", which is determined by Mrs. Hanson


Do I need to know how to code?  No


How do I find things to print or modify? A Google search "chess piece .stl" gives .stl files of chess pieces that you can download and work with. You can also search sites like Tinkercad, Thingiverse and Instructables.



Step by step: How it works

Step 1
Find or make your 3D model 

Step 2
Export an .stl file of your model

Option #1: Give your .stl file to Mrs. Hanson and she takes care of the rest

Step 3
Upload the .stl file to Cura.

Step 4
Tweak the size and other print settings

Step 5
Download as .gcode file

Option #2: Give your .gcode file to Mrs. Hanson and she takes care of the rest

Step 6
Mrs. Hanson puts the .gcode file on the Ultimaker SD card and prints the object

Where do I start?

Choose your approach 

  • Design an original piece using 3d modeling software
  • or
  • Download and print someone else's design
  • or
  • Download and modify someone else's design


Use two kinds of software

  • a 3D drawing program like Tinkercad or Google Sketchup to design your model
  • a slicing program to prepare the 3d drawing for printing. We use Cura, the best slicer for the Ultimaker 2. The slicer tells the machine what to do, setting printing speed, temperature, inserts supports, and a bunch of other stuff.  


Choose how deeply to get into the 3d printing process

  • Get into drawing and slicing.  Create your print in a 3d modeling program and use Cura to prepare it, giving Mrs. Hanson a .gcode file ready to print.
  • or
  • Concentrate on your model only and leave the printing details to Mrs. Hanson. Give Mrs. Hanson the .stl file of your drawing and she will prepare it for printing.


Think about:

Printing time!  
We don't like to print things longer than 6 1/2 hours, but we can go overnight if necessary. Start small and work up to bigger prints.


You can't print into midair. Cura can insert supports, and you will have to remove them and file down rough spots. Reorienting the object can eliminate many overhangs.