Thorin (Prusa i3 mk3s 3D Printer)
Thorin is our Prusa 3D printer with multimaterial adapter. This is an excellent printer, with a good balance of print size and quality. The multimaterial unit allows us to print in up to 5 different colors in a single print.
- Filament deposition modeling printer
- 1.75mm input filaments
- Range of different materials including:
- Default : PLA because of it's combination of cost, printability, strength, and environmental friendliness
- PETG: Durable and weatherable, it's ideal for outdoor or wet uses.
- For other materials
Preparing your print
In order to turn a 3D model into a 3D print, we have to use a program called a slicer to create a set of instructions (called GCode) that tells the printer how to make the object.
To create this GCode file for Thorin, the program PrusaSlicer should be used. This program can be found on the computers in the Makerspace, or downloaded to your personal computer.
To open your 3D model in PrusaSlicer, open the application, and select
File > Import > Import STL/OBJ/AMF/3MF...
You can also simply drag the 3D model file in to the PrusaSlicer. Alternatively, if you generated your file in Fusion 360, you can also export your file directly to a slicer by selecting File > 3D Print in Fusion 360. If you want to print multiple models at once, repeat this process for each model you wish to use.
Once you have your 3D model loaded in to PrusaSlicer, you can click it to select it. You can change the model's location on the print bed by dragging it. For more transformation options, you can use the left icon bar. From top to bottom, these icons allow you to:
- Translate your model along the X, Y, and Z axes
- Scale the size of your model
- Rotate your model
- Place a specific face of your model down on the print bed
- Split your model along a plane
- Paint on where to enforce or block supports for your model (not necessary in most cases)
- Paint on where to enforce or block seams for your model (not necessary in most cases)
You can select what settings you want to use for your print in the option bar on the right hand side.
Here is where you select the layer height and speed for your print. The layer height is the height of each layer of filament that is deposited for your print. The shorter the layer height, the longer the print will take, however a smaller layer height will result in finer detail in the print, which may be preferable for more natural shapes. The speed impacts how precisely the filament is deposited in a given layer. A slower speed may be important for prints with rugged shapes many fine details. The standard choice for our Prusa printer is 0.20mm SPEED.
Here is where you select the type of material you are printing with, which you determined in the Materials section above. Make sure you select the correct material so that the printer preheats to the correct temperatures in order to be able to properly deposit the material of the print. The standard choice for our Prusa printer is Prusament PLA.
For printing in only one filament, select the bottom option "Original Prusa i3 MK3S & MK3S+ MMU2S Single."
Supports are important to use to ensure that the print material can be properly deposited. Select "Everywhere" in the supports menu so that the slicer will generate supports as necessary to accurately print your model.
Infill refers to the amount of material used to fill the space between walls of your print. A higher percent infill will correspond to a heavier final print, however will also be stronger. A larger percent infill also corresponds to a longer print time The standard choice for our Prusa printer is 20%.
Once you are satisfied with the settings for your print, select the "Slice Now" button at the bottom right of the window. This will generate and show you a preview of a .gcode file which will be interpreted by the 3D printer. The bottom right of the window will not display information about your print, such as the amount of filament it will use and how long the print will take. Make sure to take a moment to log the amount of filament you will use at the check-in station.
Starting your print
Remove the SD card from the Prusa printer and connect it to the computer. On the PrusaSlicer window, select "Export G-code" and save the file to the SD card. Eject the SD card and put it back in to the Prusa printer.
Prepare the print bed by scraping off any excess material, spray the bed with some 91% isopropyl alcohol and use a rag to wipe the bed down. This will ensure that the print material adheres properly to the bed.
Once the print bed is cleaned, turn the orange knob next to the screen of the Prusa printer to highlight your g-code file. If the list of files is not visible, press down on the knob and turn it to highlight "print from SD," then find your file. Once your file is highlighted, press down on the same orange knob. When prompted, select the filament you want to print with (making sure it is the same type of plastic as you specified in the slicer). The filaments on the rack are numbered 1-5 from left to right. The 3D printer should begin to preheat, then start to print!