3D printing

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This is a tutorial on making components with the 3d printer Makerbot Replicator 2X.

1. Create a CAD for whatever you are printing. Using any 3D Modeling software, such as Sketchup. Sketchup is recommended because your design is easily manageable and designable. CADS were uploaded from the Makerbot Thingiverse for the Microscope Cog project.


Base CAD for stepper motor from Thingiverse
Base CAD for focusing knob from Thingiverse

2. With this Sketchup STL Extension, the project that you want to print can be converted to the format of the Makerbot Desktop Printing Software. Save your CAD as a .stl, and transfer this file to the computer connected to the 3D printer via USB Drive.

3. Once the file is in the STL format, the Makerbot Desktop Printing Software will be able to read and open the design. Go to the printer and select the settings you wish to print in. Usually, the defaults are good, but will depend on the object that you are printing. For the focusing knob cogs, the print settings can be seen here:

4. From here, there are two ways to print the design. a. Have the 3D printer connected to the computer with the Makerbot Desktop Printing Software via USB and directly print the design to the printer. b. Have an SD Card inserted into the computer with the Makerbot Desktop Printing Software and export the file as an .x3g to the SD Card. Take the SD Card and insert it into the printer. Select the .x3g file on the printer controls.

5. Wait some time. The higher quality and larger the size of the design, the longer it will take to print.

This is the automated stepper motor cog CAD.
This is the focusing knob cog CAD.
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