Before starting a print, it is important to ensure that the machine is clean and that there is no purged filament around the lead screws or linear guides. Use a hand broom and dustpan for the larger pieces, and a vacuum for the smaller pieces. Do not use compressed air to clean the machine as you may risk pushing pieces of filament into the motion system.
Read the Build Plate Installation guide to learn how to properly install the build plate for printing. Before starting a print, wipe the bed down with isopropyl alcohol to ensure that there is no grease on the bed that might prevent the first layer from adhering the the build surface.
Be sure to read our Filament Loading article for complete instructions on how to load your filament.
Before you start a print, ensure there is enough filament on the spool before the print begins. Simplify3D provides an estimate of the amount of filament required for each part in the G-Code viewer, as shown here:
Measure the amount of filament on the spool, and compare that measurement to the estimate on Simplify3D. The estimate will be accurate as long as the filament density in the settings profile is accurate. This setting can be found under the “Other” tab in Simplify3D.
Connect to the printer with a supported browser like Chrome or Firefox using the IP address seen on the printer under the network tab. On the files tab in the browser UI you should see an upload files button at the top. Click the button and it will allow you to upload a G-Code file from your computer. A G-Code file is a file that has been sliced by a slicer software like Simplify 3D.
Due to thermal expansion, it is necessary to preheat the printer before starting your print. Preheat times for different ranges of temperatures can be seen in our Standard Printer Preheat Times article. Please be patient as this preheat time is essential for proper calibration of the machine!
Once thermal stability is reached, you are ready to level the bed and perform calibrations. Don’t forget to retract filament from the hot end if probing a high temperature plate. Please read our article on how to perform Bed Levelling. Bed leveling should be performed every time that the machine changes temperature significantly (>10C).
If the printer needs X and Y calibration, instructions can be found in the X-Y Calibration article. X and Y calibration should be performed before running a dual toolhead print whenever changes have been made to the toolhead(s) (changing the heater block assembly, adjusting the hot end position in the probe assembly). It is best practice to confirm the X and Y calibration before running any dual toolhead print by printing the calibration cube with the materials and temperatures you will use for your print.
Heat the toolheads up to the temperature that is required for first layer extrusion before you start the print.
In the files tab on either the browser or macine UI, press Print on the desired file.
Ensure that the first layer is good before leaving the printer. A good first layer is the foundation for a good print! You may have to fine tune your Z offset calibration. More information on how to fine tune the offset can be found in the “Fine-tune Offset Calibration” section in the Bed Levelling article.