DF 3D Printers

This page walks through simple processes and protocols for Digital Futures’ printers in the studio. Speak to Andrew or Tom (IN PERSON) before printing if you have never printed before



Jules Winnfield Broken Stepper motor needs calibration. I can’t do this without a working potentiometer.

The printer broke trying to print an incorrectly sliced file (see profile loading for details).

Beaumont Broken Still waiting on new parts

basic information about the printers:

– 1.75mm PLA (NOT ABS)

– Reprap Repetier Firmware (different from Ultimaker/Lulzbot, so if you would like to contribute to the gcode writer, take a good hard look at the headers produced by simplify)

– 200mm x 200mm bed dimensions, so any print should fit within this box. Height can go taller though, if needs be (see below about bed center)



Simplify3D is an advanced slicing software that receives Steriolithography (STL) files and returns executable gcode. To install, fine the file here on the slack references page (CGPersiaSimplify3D)

When unzipped, follow the install instructions in the attached text file. In setup, make sure that printer is cartesian and has a build volume of 200 x 200.



Simplify requires a profile that controls machine calibration. The default profile is incorrect, so if you’ve just installed simplify, you’re still not ready to print! Not to worry. On the slack references page, you’ll find a .fff file called Jules Winnfield. Download it and follow the steps:

File > import .fff

Once this is done, select one of your processes (I have multiple for different machines, but you should just have one to start). simplify-processes-02
Your fff settings menu should look like this. pull down the select profile tab and select your imported .fff file. This should change most of the settings in the process. simplify-processes


Within this profile, you can adjust things like infill, support material, skirt outlines, etc. When you’re ready to print, hit “Prepare to Print!”

Also within this profile, check on the bed origin offsets (gcode tab). In its current state, the profile does not correctly center prints. My hope is that by crowd-sourcing the task, we can all investigate and find the perfect offset to place prints right at the center of the bed.


Machine Setup

I”m not going to go into detail on how to set up the machine, because I want to enforce one-on-one sessions in person for any and all early prints. Here are a few things to note before/after printing:

  1. Check the bed Level – 99% of all print failures and complaints about print failures stem from beds not being leveled correctly. On our machine, it’s quite simple, if a bit temperamental: if the bed level is too low (scraping or beneath the glass plate), turn the set z-endstop set screw counter-clockwise. inversely, if the bed level is too high (clearing the bed, or print continues to unstick), turn the Z-endstop set screw clockwise. If you have any more questions, talk to Andrew or Tom.
  2. Loading filament – keep in mind that the printer is physically incapable of extruding or loading filament without the nozzle being piping hot. consequently, the gear won’t even turn until the nozzle is at least 150°c. Load the filament slowly, so as not to over-extrude, and to make sure that no conflicts in the nozzle go unresolved for too long. Check your
  3. Removing filament – PLEASE remove your filament by heating up the nozzle and extruding in reverse. Cutting your spool and leaving a strand in the nozzle is the fabricational equivalent of not rewinding a VCR before returning it to Blockbuster, so then the next person who rents the movie has to rewind it before they can watch. You can ruin someone’s night that way.
  4. Emergency Stop – The printer has no off switch and no emergency stop button. If you absolutely must stop a print, unplug the power or turn off the power strip. Situations where this is appropriate would be if any of the motors are in conflict, if the carriage is in conflict, or if the print has become a delaminated hairball.