Physical Modeling 6.5 [3D Printing from Rhino]

Preparing to 3D Print


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  1. Select the object you wish to 3D print.  Use File>Export Selected... to export a new Rhino .3dm file for preparing your 3D print file.
    • Note:  I suggest doing this export as a way of eliminating unwanted and/or unnecessary geometry from your  model.  In the skyscraper exercise/assignment, for example, you only need the building skin and not the floors or ceilings.
  2. Make sure each object in your building is a closed polysurface.  To check this, type showedges in the command line and check the radio button for “Naked Edges.”  If you see any edges highlighted, your model is not watertight and you should add an appropriate surface and join the surface into a closed polysurface.
  3. Next, you will need to scale this model so that it will fit within the 3D printer bed.  I suggest an object that is no more than 8" tall, though the Type A machine can print an object up to 12"x12"x12".  Move your newly scaled object to 0,0.
    • Note:  For the skyscraper exercise/assignment, you should scale to 100’ = 3/4” (if your model is 808’ tall, it should be 6.06” tall at scale.  If your model is 600’ tall, it should be 4.5” tall).  
  4. Type mesh into the command line and select your entire model.  Adjust the polygon count to an appropriate number for your model (use the Preview button to see what your model will look like).  You will need to delete your NURBS objects after this command.
  5. Right click on “inches” at the bottom of the screen and select “Unit Settings” from the popup.  Change your units to Millimeters and choose to scale your model by 25.4 when prompted.
  6. With your model selected, navigate to File>Export selected.  Choose STL (*.stl) as the "Save as Type" and click “Save.”  The default options are fine.  This file is now ready to generate gcode and 3D print.
  7. Open the Ultimaker Cura software on your computer.  If you are working on your own computer, you can download Cura here.  If you are working on the school computer, you may need to right click on the Cura icon and select to "Run as Administrator..." for it to open. (Choose "Yes" when asked if you want to allow Cura to make changes to your computer) [Premium Content - Login] [Membership Options]
  8. Navigate to Preferences>Configure Cura...
  9. Select Printers from the list on the left and then click the Add button. (See below for the ET labs machines) [Premium Content - Login] [Membership Options]
  10. Once you have selected your desired 3D printer, click "Add Printer" and confirm it is selected as the printer (should be highlighted in Blue)[Premium Content - Login] [Membership Options]
  11. Navigate to File>Open Files... and select your .stl file.  Your model should appear in the 3D printable space (build envelope) inside Cura.
  12. You can move your object within the build envelope if you wish by clicking on it and dragging it.
  13. In the right column choose custom setup and enter the values shown below.
    • Type A Machines:
    • Deltamaker (Not Operational at the moment):
  14. Click the Prepare button.  Cura will slice your model and give an approximate time to print.
  15. Click the Save to File button to save your gcode file for 3D printing.
  16. Go to the lab to perform the 3D print.  Follow Physical Modeling 6.6 [Type A - 3D Printing].