Setting Up Cura and Preparing a Model for 3D Printing
Before a 3D model can be 3D printed, a gcode file will need to be created using a slicing program. This guide includes settings for the Voxel OX fused filament 3D printer. This can apply to other DIY cartesian 3D printers that use Marlin / Sprinter firmware.
1. Download and install Cura
As of writing this page, some features have been added in the later versions of Cura.
(Installing Arudino drivers optional)
2. Add New Machine
Machine > Add new machine > click [Next]
Select: Other (Ex: RepRap, Makerbot, Witbox)
Specify settings to match your machine. (Recommended settings for 8in Voxel OX shown below)
Machine > [Machine name] (Voxel OX)
3. Open Profile
Cura profiles (.ini files) contain print settings such as speed, temperatures and can be used to save configurations for differnt materials or prints.
Download Voxel OX profiles here.
Open Profile > Select your profile.
4. Checking Z-offset
If your printer uses Auto-leveling like the Voxel OX check your z-offset before printing.
The higher z-offset values will lower the nozzle closer to the bed. Lower values (including negative) , will raise the nozzle.
* For testing, set the z-offset to a very low number (.1mm) prevent accidental nozzle crash.*
A test print with a lower z-offset value should print above the print bed.
Use the default value or incrementally increase this number from a low safe value up by .1-.05mm incriments until the print nozzle is flush with the bed upon printing the first layer. Here's a video showing what a good first layer should look like.
If you've maintenced or changed your extruder, this value may need to be adjusted.
Some prints benefit from starting closer to the print bed.
*Default z-offset value may be differnt for your printer*
5. Load a .STL or .OBJ file
File > Load model file... OR click the load icon
Choose file > click open
6. Change print settings (if neccessary), switch to full settings, expert mode
Default profiles have been created for various types of print jobs. You may want to adjust these settings to suit your project. Switch to full settings. The advanced tab and expert settings contain more print settings.
7. Save .gcode to SD card
After cura setting have been checked, save the model to the SD card (or desktop for local printing via Pronterface)
File > Save GCode