3D Printing at the NExT Lab

The NExT Lab is home to 31 FDM 3D Printers. 29 Makerbot Replicator+'s and 2 Replicator Z18's

0.0 FDM Printing

3D Printing is an additive process. A model or part is slowly printed in layers. FDM Printing uses a thermoplastic filament (PLA for our printers) which is heated to its melting point (215°) and slowly extruded (similar to a hot glue gun) in the outline of a shape.

A bed is lowered and the part is constructed layer by layer.

1.0 Our Printers

The NExT Lab is home to 29 Makerbot Replicator +'s and 2 Replicator Z18's their differences being their printer build volumes.

The Z18 printer has a larger build volume of the two printer types and also features a heated enclosure.

Figure 1.0 - Makerbot Replicator + and Z18 Printers


Build Size

Replicator +

295 (x) mm X 195 (y) mm X 165 mm (z)

Replicator Z18

300 (x) mm X 305 (y) mm x 457 mm (z)

2.0 The 3D Printing Process

01. Prepare 3D Model

02. Check your Model

03. Slice your Model

04. Submit your Request

  • Use Rhino or a similar software to create a closed, good mesh.

  • Export your mesh as a binary stl file.

  • Check to make sure your model is closed and contains no naked edges.

3.0 Other Important Information

3.1 Submission Requirements

Students must provide three file types:

  • one .stl (containing all parts);

  • one .print

  • all desired .makerbot files

3.2 Naming Conventions

Project/Request Names must follow the below convention:

colour_[hours of printing TOTAL]_[Rep+/Z18]_filename

eg: White_6h20_Rep+_Beta

Job Names must follow the below convention:

[hours of printing FOR FILE]_1of[total number of files in project]_filename.makerbot

eg: 4h_1of2_Bridge.makerbot;

Updated submission request naming convention:

eg: 4h_1of2_BridgeUPDATED.makerbot

Please ensure you have delete old jobs when updating files.

3.3 Print Time Restrictions

For the benefit of all students over semester, all students which require a print of 8 hours or longer to book a consultation.

4.0 Resources

First, check out our Printing Guidelines, and Intro Session Presentations

You should also check out the Training Center and 3d Hubs.