Using the Chapman 103 Lab 3D Printer
480: Robotics & 3D Printing, Dr. Lawlor
The Chapman 103 lab printer is a 2012 Printrbot Plus, a wood kit
that served as Dr. Lawlor's main printer until he printed his Alaska90 printer on
Installing and Configuring the Software
You'll need the printer control software, and model slicing
- Download the printer control software Printrun.
If needed, download Slic3r
(it's part of the Printrun .zip for Windows and OS X)
- Configure Printrun via Settings -> Options
- Bed width (x) is 192, depth (y) is 205 mm
- Set hotend to 200C
- Set bed to 90C
Preparing gcode from your STL file
Add your STL file, and verify it looks OK
Export gcode file
- Open Slic3r, and verify you've chosen the "CS 480" print
Printing your file
- Turn on the printer's AC power supply. You should hear
the fan spinning.
- Plug in the printer's USB cable into your computer.
- Open Pronterface (part of Printrun)
- Hit "Load File" button, and load your gcode file.
- Doublecheck the red paths to make sure they look OK, and
will fit on the print bed.
- Check the "Estimated duration" (hours:minutes:seconds) and
verify your schedule will let you babysit the printer for that
long. This doesn't include time for the printer to warm
up (about 10 minutes) or cool down (another 10 minutes).
- Check the poster on the door to verify you will have
finished printing before the next class starts--the noise of
the printer could be annoying to the class, so you should not
print during a class.
Turn off the printer's AC power supply when you're done.
- The printer will first warm up the bed--you may need to add
the block of insulation to have the bed warm up faster.
The bed gets HOT, so don't touch it or the extruder!
- The printer will zero all the axes.
- The printer will first draw an outline. Normally the
extruder starts working about halfway through this outline.
- The first layer is slower and thicker than the rest of the
layers. If this layer doesn't stick well, the print is
unlikely to succeed, so I'll often stop a bad print here.
- To pause a print, hit Pause in pronterface. The
printer will pause after it finishes the commands in its
buffer, which normally takes at least a few nerve-wracking
- To stop a print immediately, unplug the printer's DC power
- The rest of the layers will be printed on top of this.
- Once the object is done, the printer stops automatically.
- It's very difficult to remove objects from the bed until it
has cooled down, so wait for it to cool down.
- Objects should peel off once the bed is cool to the
touch. You may need a sharp metal object to peel up the
Questions or problems? Contact Dr. Lawlor.