3D Printing Guide

This guide is written both for Managers and for users of the EPL. Some steps apply to only one or the other.

Before You Start (Managers, Users)

Do you have a 3D print you want to have made? This guide will help you. Before you begin, you will need a few things.

  1. You will need a .stl version of your part scaled in mm.
  2. You will need to know the approximate dimensions of your part or widget (i.e. it is 25.4mm overall in the z axis)
  3. You should have a good idea of which printer you want to print it on, and your settings preferences (color, material type, quality, etc)
  4. All 3D prints must be paid for before we will print them! More on this later in the guide

For material, type, and price please refer to the 3D Material Guide

General Procedure Overview (Managers, Users)

In general, 3D printing at the EPL works like this

  1. Create a 3D model of your print, and export it as an .stl in mm.
  2. Get this print added to the 3D print queue.
    • Either email the .stl file along with your preferences to epl+3D@pdx.edu
    • Or add the print to the queue manually
  3. Have your print sliced and priced
    • If you are at the EPL in person, have a manager help you slice the model and calculate the resulting price. Add the PreForm or GCODE to the queue.
  4. Pay for the print and have a manager approve that you are paid
    • If you submitted via email, you will be sent an email by the manager asking you to pay.
    • If you are submitting in person, you will have the opportunity to pay as we add your print to the queue
  5. Your print will be printed when its turn comes
  6. When your print is done, the managers will email you to let you know, and you can drop by and pick it up.

Getting Your Print on the Queue via Email (Users)

Just send an email to epl+3D@pdx.edu. Include the following information:

Adding a Print to the Queue (Managers)

For each term, there is a folder named “3D Prints” on the desktop in which we keep all print files. At the time of writing, this folder is named “Spring 2022 3D Prints”.

Create a folder with the name of the person requesting the print inside this queue folder. For example, a folder named “David Bowie” should contain all of the files that David Bowie has had printed during the current term.

Add the .stl file for the print to this folder.

Create an entry at the bottom of the 3D printer queue spreadsheet, and fill out the following information:

Some prints may ask for multiple copies of a single .stl file, or multiple .stl files. Comma-separate .stl files under the stl file colum to indicate the latter. Add duplication to the special notes column to indicate the former.

Slicing and Pricing a 3D Print (Managers)

To slice and price an unpriced print in the queue, open the .stl file in the appropriate slicer. For Ultimakers, this is Cura. For form labs, this is the custom PreForm software.

Follow the guide for your printer for specific instructions on how to slice.

See here to find the appropriate guide

When you are done, save either the G-Code (.gcode) or PreForm (.form) in the same folder as the .stl, and add this to the gcode column of the queue.

As a final step, calculate the price and print time using the G-Code or PreForm, add this to the price column.

Paying for a Print (Users)

At some point, you must pay for your print. You can do this in person, or check out online:

If you choose to check out online, you must forward a copy of your receipt to epl+3D@pdx.edu

Once your print is paid for, a manager will mark it as paid, and it will officially be on the queue.

Starting a Print (Managers)

When it comes time to actually execute your print, use the generated G-Code or Preform and follow the appropriate SOP for the printer.

See here to find the appropriate guide

Mark the print as started in the queue!

Write the number of the print on a sticky note and place that sticky note on the printer!!!

Post-Processing (Managers, Users with Supervision)

Some prints require post-processing. For example, FormLab prints require an alcohol bath and UV light exposure. If a print requires special post-processing, make sure the sticky note stays with the part on whatever machine it is currently in. If support material needs to be trimmed, this should be done by the user, to avoid potential damage to the print.

Mark the part as post-processing on the queue.

Finishing a Print (Managers)

When a print is done, email the person who requested the print to let them know.

Move the print to the finished print shelf, along with its sticky note.

Mark the print as finished on the queue!

Dealing with Failed Prints (Managers)

Picking Up Your Print (Users)

Once your print is done, a manager will email you to let you know to pick it up. Simply drop by the EPL and receive your print!