|Printer||Quality (1) to Speed (10) Rating||Support Material||Max Build Size (in) X Y Z||Layer Heights (.001 in)||Software||Material Size|
|Fortus 250mc||2||Yes||10 x 10 x 12||7, 10, 13||Insight||Stratasys Proprietary|
|Fortus 400mc||1||Yes||16 x 14 x 16||5, 7, 10 (varies by material)||Insight||Stratasys Proprietary|
|Raise3D Pro2||3||Coming Soon||12 x 12 x 11.8||2, 4, 6, 8||ideaMaker||1.75mm|
|Prusa mk3s||5||Coming Soon||9.8 x 8.3 x 8.3||2, 2.8, 4, 6, 8||PrusaSlicer||1.75mm|
|Lulzbot Taz 6||9||No||11 x 11 x 9.8||5, 10, 15||Cura Lulzbot Edition||2.85mm|
|Lulzbot Mini||9||No||6 x 6 x 6.2||5, 10, 15||Cura Lulzbot Edition||2.85mm|
|Cube Printer Farm||10||No||6 x 6 x 5||TBD||PrusaSlicer||1.75mm|
The Maker Lab has a number of 3D Printers to choose from. As different machines serve different purposes, it is key to first consider which machine will suit your project’s needs. As a result, here is a brief guide to printer selection, slicing, and print settings.
Major considerations for printer selection:
- Will support material be needed?
Certain printers do/do not support the use of support material. Your model geometry and orientation will decide the need for support material. Because of the high cost, time to dissolve, and inconsistent finish with support material, it is always desired to print without support if at all possible. In terms of the Maker Lab, the Fortus printers enable support material with excellent repeatability. The Pro2 and mk3s will soon support support material as a lower cost option.
- What are your material needs?
Higher grade materials are typically limited to higher grade 3D printers. The Maker Lab primarily prints in ABS and ASA (a successor to ABS), which is suffice for most prototypes and projects. Other material properties can be achieved through alternate materials, such as transparency, flexibility, and strength. A full list of materials offered can be found in the Print Details Form. The Maker Lab may be able to coordinate with you on other material needs.
- What are your quality needs?
Different printers support different layer heights (due to varying nozzle sizes). Depending on the geometry of your part, layer height may be of concern. Smaller layer heights will also dramatically increase print time, and therefore, cost.
- How large is your print?
Typically, you can simply choose a printer that is large enough for your part. However, sometimes it is more efficient to split your part into multiple prints and adhere them.
- How “important” is your print, and how fast do you need it?
It is difficult to meet certain design tolerances on the first print. It is not unusual to print on a cheaper system to check dimensions before moving on to the final print on a more expensive system. Certain printers also have varying turnaround time within the Maker Lab. Most noteworthy, is that the Fortus 400mc requires 1-2 days of calibration when swapping to a new material.
For Maker Lab ordering you will first choose a printer, download the related slicer (in table above) and slice your part as desired. You can then use this information to calculate the print cost and submit a print order.
If you need any additional information, feel free to email me at email@example.com