Before submitting your 3D print jobs to the Innovation Centre please ensure you have fulfilled the following checklist:
Mesh is closed and contains no naked or non-manifold edges
.stl file from CAD program
In Makerbot Print
Rafts are turned on
Supports are turned on
Saved .print file from Makerbot Print
Exported .makerbot file for each build plate after slicing in Makerbot Print
Ensure all files follow the naming convention
If your print exceeds 12 hours, you will need to book a consultation
You are now ready to upload the necessary files to the MSD Makerbot Innovation Center
.stl (All mesh files into one .stl file).print (All print beds into the one .print file).makerbot (Time)_(FileNumber)_(Optional:filename)_(VersionNumber).makerbot
(Total Time)_(Filament Colour)_(Optional:filename)_(Printer: Rep+ or Z18)
When preparing a file for 3D Printing in Rhino3D, ensure that all geometries you wish to print are:
ShowEdges command can be used to highlight naked or non-manifold edges.
Mesh each geometry you wish to print separately. Increasing polygons counts in your mesh will increase you mesh resolution and print time, this can be important for curved surfaces but will often not make a difference for linear surfaces.
Each mesh should be closed.
Check your mesh to make sure it is either:
A good mesh; or
If it is a bad mesh, ie. contains naked or non-manifold edges.
Depending on your workflow, you can:
Export each closed mesh as an individual
.stl(binary) file, this will allow you to arrange your files in the makerbot software
Arrange your meshes in Rhino in accordance to your desired printer's bed size and export one
.stl (binary) file.
Please condense all printable meshes into one .stl file for submission to the Makerbot Innovation Center.
This .stl file should follow the following naming convention:
Please refer to our extended guide:
At the NExT Lab, we use Makerbot printers. These require Makerbot Print in order to be used.
Add an unconnected printer using the button at the bottom right of the screen. At the NExT Lab, we use Replicator+ and Replicator Z18 Printers.
Once you have added the printers, Select the printer you wish to use.
.stl files on to your build plate(s) OR
Add build plates as required in the Project Panel (Top Left, Folder Icon) if necessary. You will need to export these separately.
Depending on the version of the Makerbot software that you are using, these settings are similar:
Set the Extruder to
[Smart Extruder +]
[Balanced] print mode, and enable
On an older version,
[Supports] is enabled on/off
On newer versions,
[Support Type] is drop down box, select
[Breakaway (PLA) Support]
We do not recommend adjusting the settings yourself, but we encourage you to use any of the following tested downloadable print settings that are optimised for various prints:
If you wish to print multiple files, we recommend placing the files on multiple beds, depending on size and print time.
In the below image, we can see that the estimated print time is very high and has a large footprint. Because of the way FDM printers work, this print might encounter issues such as warping.
Given the large size of this print, it is reasonable to split it up on to multiple beds.
Using sacrificial helper disks will also help to prevent warping.
These disks can be added by clicking
File > Insert Example File > Helper Disks,
and should be placed at the corners of your models.
Once your build plates are arranged, generate a print preview, and estimate.
Save your file as a
File > Save Project As
This file should contain one all of your print beds that come with your request. This is used for NExT Lab troubleshooting and editing any settings if necessary.
This .print file should follow the following naming convention:
Your file is now ready to be sent of to the printers.
Export each print bed using the
[EXPORT] button on the bottom right of the window. The output file will be a
.makerbot file. This file is a code package which cannot be edited or fixed.
These files are what the machines require to actually print, without these, there will be nothing to print!
Each .makerbot file needs to follow the following naming convention:
(Time for this file)_(JobNumber of TotalJobs)_(VersionNumber).makerbot
You must adhere to the above convention, you may supplement it with a filename: e.g. 8hr_5of8_towerCBD_v3
If you are experiencing issues with Makerbot Print.
Ensure you have the latest version
Book a consultation with one of the NExT Lab technicians
Access the Innovation Centre to submit a print request to the NExT Lab. You will need to sign up using a unimelb email address.
The default page is the Info splash page, wait times, links to guides such as this one and important announcements by staff can be found here.
New Print to start a new submission
The project name should follow the following naming convention:
(Total Time)_(Filament Colour)_(Printer: Rep+ or Z18)
You must adhere to the above convention, you may supplement it with a filename: e.g. 12hr_TrueWhite_glynDavis_Rep+
Fill out the rest of the details.
Be sure to include all your
You will receive an email at two stages:
Once your request has been accepted
Once your entire request has been completed
Upon receiving the second email, your request is ready for collection. During semester, request collection is located at the NExT Lab during our open hours (10am -4pm Monday to Friday). These hours can be affected by classes/events in the space.
Outside of semester, job collection is usually located at the FabLab.
You may receive e-mails from the NExT Lab asking for files to be updated. This will also be indicated by some prefix to your Request Name
To ensure that we are on top of your requests, you will need to make sure that you notify us once you have updated your files by doing the following:
Update your files and increment the version number: e.g. my_meshes_v1.stl > my_meshes_v2.stl e.g. 4hr_1of2_v3.makerbot > 4hr_1of2_v4.makerbot
Remove the old files that you will be updating from the request
Upload your new files with the updated version number
Remove the change to your Request Name.
Respond to the e-mail once you have done so.