Week_5 - 3D Scanning and Printing


  • group assignment:
    • test the design rules for your 3D printer(s)
  • individual assignment:
    • design and 3D print an object (small, few cm3, limited by printer time) that could not be made subtractively
    • 3D scan an object (and optionally print it)

Group Assignment

On this week group assignment we explore the design rules for your 3D printer(s)

In fablab we have two types of printers: FDM and SLA. In the description below I will describe the operation and design principles under Zortrax M200, Formlabs 1+ and MAKERBOT. For testing I used a file made available to ctrV on thingivers.

Zortrax M200

Zortrax is a Polish company that is very well known in the market for creating armoured printers that may not print the most beautifully but print almost always, and if they do not print it is your fault. Over the years these printers have had a very closed infrastructure, so only the manufacturer's materials could be used and the software was very limited. At the moment, after many consultations with users, it is possible to print from any material to save presets and turn off the raft (which can only be useful for quick test prints at a perforated table).

On the manufacturer's website there is a program for Zortrax, called Z-Suit , which is on Win and Mac. For installation we will need a serial number, which is on each printer in Information=>Printer Information (uff this printer has been running for over 5k hours and still works great).

Changing filaments

Once we install the Z-suit we change to our material and release the print.
Change the material: Material=>unload the material

wait for the nozzle to warm up, remove the filament and cut off the tip distorted by the filament drive gear.
Place a new spool on the rack pillar whose copper pipes are covered with Teflon (thanks to which the spools rotate freely).
Insert the filament into the input hole of the extruder

and in the printer menu select Material=>load the material
we gently press the filament to enter between the drive gear and the guide bearing.
After inserting the material, clean the nozzle with tweezers and remove the spilled filament.
Calibrating zortrax is and easy task (you can say semi automatic) and there is very nice tutorial on company website, i recommend to familiarize yourself with it.

Makerbot Replicator+

Work area: 295 x 195 x 165 mm
Materials: PLA, TOUGH PLA
Software: MakerBot Print,
Layer height: 100-200-300 microns
Dimensions: 528 x 441 x 410 mm
Weight: 18.3 kg
Operating the slicer for this printer is trivially simple, but unfortunately it also has its limitations due to the few options available to users and the simplest options such as print settings are hidden. Select a file and upload it by drag and drop or choose from import. Choose a printer from the network (after the ip address)

Preparing files with the example of Z-suit

Most of the Slicer works very similarly, it is enough that we know the basic functions and naming and we can print on practically any printer, so before I take a look at the detailed operation z-suit will describe some important settings.

Model positioning

A very important option depends on how long the object will print and in which plane it will be stronger and more resistant to particular stresses. More info here
For FDM, the top surface is smoothed by the extrusion tip, the surface in contact with the print bed will usually be glossy and the surfaces above support structures will have support marks.

Material types:

Basic materials used in our Fablab


  • Ideal for showcase prints, prototypes - also in large sizes,
  • small shrinkage of the material - a heated table is not necessary,
  • good strength (but less than ABS),
  • the possibility of deformation under high temperatures, l
  • imited flexibility,
  • relatively low printing temperature (180-220°C),
  • is insoluble.


  • high strength,
  • It is perfect for preparing moving parts,
  • better temperature resistance than PLA,
  • more flexible than the PLA,
  • soluble in acetone,
  • problematic during the printing process - high material shrinkage.


  • sustainability
  • low flexibility,
  • possibility of contact with food,
  • soluble in selected chemical solutions,
  • Most often used as a support material for ABS,
  • may cause problems during 3D printing - it requires a heated table and closed chamber,
  • significant shrinkage of material during the 3D printing process.


  • good strength properties - impact-resistant,
  • a slight shrinkage of the material during printing (but requires a heated table),
  • flexible,
  • insoluble,
  • Moderately difficult to use - requires the selection of appropriate parameters.

    Layer height:

    The quality in the Z-axis depends on the height of the layer. It has been assumed that layers from 0.29 mm upwards can be easily set for prototypes and models without much detail. Thanks to the high layer height we can quickly have the object for testing and further modifications. In addition, the printout can always be post-processed and the ideal surface can be obtained. For more detailed prints we use smaller values up to 0.6mm on FDM printers.

    Unfortunately, a low layer extends our waiting time for the final product, so it is always worth considering why we will need a printout. Below is a picture of a board with sample layers and printing times on zortrax m200.


    Infill, i.e. percentage filling of the object. You might think that the bigger the filling the stronger and stronger the print. Fortunately, this is not the most optimal infill for commercial objects ranging from 15-25%, and the stronger the printout is 40%.

    But why not 100%?
    Large fully filled objects are more fragile fully filled objects are susceptible to cracking and shrinkage of the material

    3D printing rules in our fablab

    Before printing

  • The user should make sure that the printer is operational.
  • The user should make sure that there are no residual printouts or other objects in the printer that prevent the printer from working properly.
  • In case of a change of the filament, the user should put the previous filament in the appropriate drawer.
  • It is forbidden to print on the filling in of more than 50% without the consent of the 3D printing workshop supervisor.
  • The preparation increasing the adhesion of the machine's work table is used only in justified cases with the consent of the workshop's supervisor.
  • Before printing, the user should make sure that the GCODE file has been generated correctly. In case of any doubts, it is recommended to consult with the workshop supervisor.

    During printing

  • It is forbidden to leave a working printer unsupervised before making sure that the process has started correctly.
  • It is forbidden to interrupt the printouts of other users in case other than an incorrect operation of the printer or an obvious printing error (e.g. unwrapping). If the printing is found to have finished, it can be removed by any user of the studio (see: After printing) and put into the drawer with the designation " WYDRUKI" and the printer switched off. In this case, the person starting the printout is still obliged to clean up after himself.
  • It is forbidden to open the door of the printer without reason during operation.
  • It is forbidden to turn on the air conditioner directed at the machines without any reason during their operation.

    After printing

  • Once the printing is complete, the user should remove the finished object from the machine as quickly as possible and restore it to its original state to allow others to work.
  • To remove prints from the machine's work table we use an appropriate spatula.
  • It is forbidden to leave the remains of the filament and prints in the printer chamber.
  • Any remains should be placed in the waste bin.

    CAD-designing a part not possible with subtracting processes

    I had a little difficulty in choosing the things I would like to design... the problem was time and a multitude of options:) More and more projects can be seen on the Internet that use the incredible add-on systems, i.e. ship in bottle syndrome. How did it get there? Did someone tweezers piece by piece build it in a bottle? In Sum, by means of 3d printing, it could happen that the bottle was created on a par with the ship and the dilemma of what was the first egg or hen falling out... hmmm or maybe space engineers printed the hen and the egg at the same time?!
    It was quite a simple thing, I'm sure I'll come back to it, the bearing! The project was created quite classically, that is a sketch of extrude revolve cut, but the most interesting element used in fusion 360 useful to look inside the project was section analyst.

    At the end I left the spheres so that they gently touch the rims. to not print with the supports. or to minimize their number. In Slicer Z-suit I turned the project around and manually set up the supports where I thought they were most needed.

    3D Scaning

    3d scanning is not the best way to reproduce models. Much better technique is to collect individual object dimensions and recreate them in CAD programs. This is at least in case with these simpler models but what if we have to model some more organic object? Then it is worth to use 3D scanning as a design support but still rely on dimensions and design. In our fablab we have two Kinect scanners from xbox 360 along with Skanect software in pro and free version and SENSE 3D scanner with software.

    Here I will focus on the xboxs scanner which in my opinion is excellent as for its price especially when combined with Skanect. 1. settup the size of the objcet
    2.settup the quality and recording hardware
    3.press red record button
    4.go around the object and scun from diffren angles
    5.first fing when you finished the scanning is transforming the object with tool transform and crop
    6. remebder to fill holes with fill holes tool
    7. there is an obtion to colorize 3d scan but its not necessary for 3d printing
    8. ;)
    9. last thing save in share bookmark
    10. best option for 3d printing is to use .stl files

    all files from projects