Afinia 3D Printer

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Two Afinias side by side.

The Afinia 3D Printers are identified as the red-framed, non-enclosed printers along the left wall as you enter the 3D print room.

Capabilities

  • These printers can print parts with a maximum volumetric capacity of 4.5"x5"x5" (lxwxh).
  • Our fleet currently uses 1.75mm PLA (polylactic acid) filament to print.
  • It is not recommended to print solid cubes, rectangular blocks, or simple cylinders as these machines are not meant to replace all other forms of manufacturing.

How to Use

Starting a Print

  1. Get a .stl file. If you have your own 3D model, save it as a .stl file type. You can download pre-designed parts from Thingiverse. Save your .stl file onto a flashdrive.
  2. Locate a free printer/computer. Plug your flashdrive into the your chosen computer. Launch the UP! Software on the desktop.
  3. Initialize your printer. In the UP! Software, go to 3D Print > Printers, and select your intended printer. Each printer has a name on the physical printer with a corresponding name in the software. Then, go to 3D Print > Initialize.
  4. Make sure your printer has a perf board. Put a platform on the printer, and secure it using the clips on the platform.
  5. Open your file. You can either double click your file off of your flashdrive menu, or you can follow the dialog box in the UP! Software.
  6. Adjust your part. Fit it on the print bed, however you want. What you see is what you get. The following is a list of operations that you can perform with the software:
    1. Scale. Make sure that your part fits within the bounding box of the 3D printer. Click scale, enter your scaling percentage (for example, .8 is 80% of the current visible size). Click on your part, then click scale again.
    2. Rotate. Try to orient the parts to minimize the support material - a process and strategy which is described later. Click the Rotate button, specify an angle of rotation in the drop down box, and click on an axis for rotation.
    3. Move. Manually move your parts around on the build platform by clicking on the part you want to move, then clicking on the Move button. Specify the distance to move the part, then click on an axis to specify which direction to move the part in.
    4. Place. Clicking the Place button will center and arrange all of your parts. This will optimize the layout of all pieces on the platform.
  7. Configure your settings. Click the Print button, and then click the Preferences button. We have created template settings for you. After setting your preferences to match one of the profiles below, press okay.
  8. Print. Click Print button, then click the Okay button. The light on the front of the printer will blink as the files slice and then transmit to the printer. After the files transmit, the UP! Software will give an estimate of how long your print will take, and the nozzle will start to pre-heat.
  9. Wait for a Layer to Print. Print failures happen within the first few layers. You should stay to make sure the first few layers print out, and then you can go about your business.

Post Processing

  1. Acquire finished part. Usually, you will find finished parts in the finished parts bin at the back of the 3D Printing Room. If you don't, please remove the finished print from your printer with the following steps.
    1. Remove the plate from the printer. Bend the platform clips off of the platform. Slide the platform out of the printer.
    2. Remove the print from the platform. Get a set of gloves. Use a paint scraper to peel your part and any raft filament from the plate.
    3. Replace the plate in the printer.
  2. Remove support from the print. Use a set of snipper to clip off any support material.


Helpful Reminders

  • DO NOT pry the part off of a print platform that is still inside of the printer.
  • DO NOT use the Afinia print program. Ever.
  • DO NOT leave your station dirty. Throw away support!
  • DO NOT unplug the USB cords from the rear USB hub.

Troubleshooting/Common Problems

The filament is not sticking to the platform.

The bed needs to be re-calibrated. Inform the PI on duty, and they will re-calibrate the bed for you.

The filament is not extruding.

Check to see if the filament roll is binding. If not, the nozzle is clogged. Inform the PI on duty, and choose a new printer.

The printer is not showing up on the computer's list of printers.

Close and re-open the UP! Program. Turn the printer off and on.


Links