3D-Printing

To produce gorgeous objects with the 3D printer on the 3rd floor, you need to install a slicer on your desktop or laptop. The recommended slicer is cura.1)

There is no card reader on the printer and no wlan, either. All data is communicated exclusively via cable based network.

Install cura

Linux:
Cura is probably natively available in the repo of your distro.
Alternatively, install the AppImage of the latest release from github.
Microsoft Windows:
Download the installer of the latest release from github.
Apple MacOS:
Download the installer of the latest release from github.

It recommended to install some plugins in cura:

  • click on 'Marketplace' on the top right of curas main window.
  • wait about two minutes for cura to assemble the catalogue of plugins
  • select:
    1. 'OctoPrintConnection' - necessary to talk to the printer via network
    2. 'Printjob Naming' - to prefix your job file with your name
    3. plugins to import native 3D model files from your favourite CAD suite:
      • 'Inventor integration'
      • 'Solidworks integration'
      • 'Freecad integration'
      • 'Blender integration'
    4. 'Settings Guide' - provides more verbose pop-up help

Configure the printjob naming plugin to put your name in front of the job name:

  • cura → Extensions → Custom_Printjob_Naming → set_name_options
  • Prefix: replace the default value with your name
  • Enable prefix and postfix: [:OK:]
  • Add '_' between jobname parts: [:OK:]
  • Sanitise jobname parts: [:OK:]

Configure the default printer in cura

  1. go to: Settings → Printer → Add_Printer…
  2. click 'Add a non-networked-printer'
  3. scroll down to 'Custom'
  4. choose 'Custom FFF printer'
  5. change the printer name to something more specific. E.g.: 'Leapfrog'
  6. click the button 'Add' on the lower right
  7. in the dialogue 'Machine Settings', tab 'Printer':
    1. Print Settings (left column)
      • X (width) = 180.0 mm
      • Y (depth) = 240.0 mm
      • Z (height) = 160.0 mm
      • Build plate Shape = Rectangular
      • Origin at center: [ ]
      • Heated bed: [:OK:]
      • Heated build volume: [ ]
      • G-code flavor = Marlin
      • - Start G-code: (no change, keep the default)
    2. Printhead Settings
      • X min = -66
      • Y min = -52
      • X max = 66
      • Y max = 90
      • Gantry height = 2.0 mm
      • Number of extruders = 1
      • Apply Extruder offsets to GCode: [:OK:]
      • End G-code: (no change, keep the default)
  8. In tab 'Extruder 1' of the 'Machine Settings':
    • Nozzle size = 0.4 mm
    • Compatible material diameter = 1.75 mm
    • Nozzle offset X = 0.0 mm
    • Nozzle offset y = 0.0 mm
    • Cooling Fan number = 0
    • G-Code: no changes, keep the default.

To revisit this dialogue later, go to: Settings → Printer → Manage_Printers…

Connect to the printer

To connect your local cura instance to the leapfrog printer:

  1. make sure, the printer is switched on
  2. in a web browser go to https://leapfrog.iqo.uni-hannover.de and login with your IQO credentials
  3. in cura, go to Settings → Printer → Manage_Printers → Printers
  4. click 'Connect OctoPrint'
  5. click 'Add'. (Do not use one of the existing entries, even though they may announce themselves as “leapfrog”.)
  6. type in ..
    • Instance Name: Leapfrog
    • IP Address or Hostname: 'leapfrog.iqo.uni-hannover.de'
    • Port Number: 443
  7. click 'OK'
  8. click 'Request…' under 'API Key'
  9. in the web browser a new tab should have opened which asks you to allow API access → confirm
  10. in cura, an API key should manifest itself as a string of obscured characters
  11. click the 'connect' button on the bottom right of the dialogue

The API key is used by cura to authorize itself to the octoprint instance of the leapfrog printer. It lets you print directly from cura without the need to login on the leapfrog website.

Cura profile

  1. Import the profile to cura:
    • go to PreferencesCura_settings…
    • choose Profiles in left tab → button Import
    • navigate to the downloaded file and click open
    • the imported profile should appear under “Custom profiles”
    • select the imported profile in the list
    • click the button activate to actually use the profile for the next slicing. Alternatively, you can choose the profile from the drop-down menu at the top of the Print settings dialogue.

Now you are ready to print with the parameters delivered by the cura profile.

Archive of cura profiles

1)
If you don't like cura, feel free to pioneer an alternative like Slic3r, PrusaSlicer or SuperSlicer.