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Plotter, Laser and 3D printer Instructions

Plotters
Only print on the expensive, glossy, photo paper for final presentation materials (not drafts). If you need help changing the paper please ask for assistance. There are two plotters in the lab, the Z3200ps and the DJ500ps.

If you have questions or need help printing, be sure to ask 2009ta or 2009admin.

Z3200ps Photo Plotter
The Z3200ps Photo Plotter in the 2.009 computer area and is the newer of the two plotters.  This plotter can print on rolls of paper up to 44 inches wide.  Please check what type of paper is in the plotter before using it and only use the expensive photo paper for special jobs. Also be sure that you have the most appropriate width of roll in the plotter. The worst thing to do is print something wider than the paper.

You can print within the program you are using on the 2.009 computers, you may also print through HP’s Embedded Web Server. (note: this server skips the printer driver and talks directly to the printer, so you can use this to print from any computer).

The user manual for the plotter is extremely useful.

Printing from within a program

  • Make sure that the document size is set to what you want. (For example, in Photoshop, go to Image, then Image Size… Change the unit in document size to inches. The width and height of the actual document will be displayed.)
  • You can print from Photoshop, Adobe Reader, or Preview
  • Select HP Designjet Z3200ps (New Plotter) as the printer.
  • Click Properties
  • If document size is not correct, add a custom size that matches your document size and save it.
  • Select your saved document size and preview to ensure that it is correct
  • Make sure that your document is in the correct orientation (portrait vs. landscape)
  • Make sure that the document size fits on the selected paper size.
  • Print.  Please ask if you are unsure about using the plotter.

Note: if the plot is in the wrong orientation, the easiest way to fix this is to use the rotate by 90 degrees radio button to change the orientation.

Printing using the Embedded Web Server
When using the Embedded Web Server, your file should be in a JPG, PDF, or TIFF format.

To access the server, type this address into your web browser: http://18.80.1.169

  • Click on Submit Job on the left panel
  • Add your file
  • Expand Job Settings to select your print options
    • Expand Basic Settings -> Hold for Preview -> Click on the word “Default” to open a drop down menu. Change setting to Yes
    • Expand Advanced Settings
      • Paper-> Paper Size -> Click on the word “Standard” and change to Custom -> Set dimensions to match the dimensions of your file
        • Note: Paper size should be the same size or slightly larger (to account or margins) than your document.
      • Check the width of the paper roll currently in the plotter (mostly likely will be 24 in. or 44 in.)
      • If your file’s width is significantly less than the width of the paper and its length is less than the width of the paper, rotate the file to save paper
        • Roll Options -> Rotate -> Click on “Default” and select option (most likely: 90 degrees)
        • When you rotate your image, do you not need to change the paper size (ie., The paper size should reflect the original size and orientation of the file)
    • These options are the most useful, although you can always play around with Resizing, Quality (for fast prints), etc.
    • When you are done setting your preferences click Print.
      •  Note: Your job will not start printing immediately, you need to first preview it and then tell the printer to continue the printing process
  • Click on Job Queue in the left column
  • Locate your file in the queue and wait until its status changes from “Processing” to “On Hold” and a magnifying glass appears under the Preview column. It it seems to be taking a really long time, click on the “Refresh” button at the top of the queue.
  • Click on the magnifying class to view the print preview
    • If it doesn’t look right, Cancel your job and set it up again
    • If it looks exactly how you want it to print, click Continue and your file will start printing
    • Note: If you are 100% sure your print layout and set-up and don’t need to view a preview, you select “No” for “Hold for Preview”, and your file will print immediately after you click the “Print” button
  • Other things to remember:
    • Make sure that the document size is set to what you want. (For example, in Photoshop, go to Image, then Image Size… Change the unit in document size to inches. The width and height of the actual document will be displayed.)
    • Select HP Designjet Z3200ps (New Plotter) as the printer.
    • Make sure that your document is in the correct orientation (portrait vs. landscape)
    • Make sure that the document size fits on the selected paper size.
    • Make sure the resolution you are printing at is appropriate for you image. If the resolution it unnecessarily high, your print may take a very long time to finish.

HPDJ500 plotter
The HPDJ500 plotter in the Pappalardo lab is the older of the two plotters and is located in the north conference rooms. It can print rolls up to 42 inches wide. Please check what type of paper is in the plotter before using it and only use the expensive photo paper for special jobs. Also be sure that you have the most appropriate width of roll in the plotter. The worst thing to do is print something wider than the paper.

  • Make sure that the document size is set to what you want. (For example, in Photoshop, go to Image, then Image Size… Change the unit in document size to inches. The width and height of the actual document will be displayed.)
  • Select HP DJ 500 42 (plotter) as the printer.
  • Click on Properties...
  • Make sure that Paper is set to Roll and 42 inch roll. (This should already be set as default). You can set the paper size to match your document size and then choose the scale to fit option. Under the scale option you will again need to set the paper size. Although bizarre, this seems to be the most reliable way to obtain a plot of the correct size.
  • Set preferred Quality and Orientation.
  • Print.

 

Laser
There is a 60 watt laser in the 35-307 Product Design Laboratory that may be used for 2.009 projects. Please contact the course instructor or TAs to arrange for its use.

There is also a 75W laser cutter available in the Pappalardo lab.

Some key guidelines for laser cutting

  • Never leave the laser cutter running unattended. Fires are always a possibility.
  • Never touch the optics.  If you notice that the optics is dirty please notify the TAs.  The lens is normally orange/yellow in hue.
  • Never cut PolyCarbonate (Lexan) or PVC (vinyl) as they release poisonous gasses.
  • Acrylic (PMMA, Plexiglass) and ABS are good plastics to cut with the laser.  Plywood is hard to cut as it has many layers of glue.
  • Try to save material by putting parts close together on a sheet and salvaging material that has usable space

3D Printing

The 3D printer is a powerful tool that allows you to prototype complex and precise geometries that are difficult to machine. While the 3D printer is useful, it is not always appropriate — material costs and lead times are high, each part is made on a one-off basis, and the material used in the printer may not be appropriate for the part’s intended use.

2.009 has access to two different printers, the Objet Alaris 30 and Dimension uPrint, each with its own benefits. The Dimension machines print tougher parts but have a poor finish and lower tolerances. The Objet machines print stronger, brittle parts with a high degree of finish and accuracy. Be sure to read carefully about the two different printers to help you determine which printer, if any at all, is appropriate.

To ensure that these machines are utilized at their full potential, we ask that a solidpart file is sent with every submission (see the process below). Upon viewing your part, if 3D printing does not seem like the best option, we may be able to suggest alternative prototyping options that could save you time and money. Other 3D printing options include the Edgerton student shop or online services such as RedEye (which will cost significantly more that the 2.009 machine prices).

Process for printing using the 2.009 machines

Step 1— Prepare File

  1. Open your part in Solidworks.
  2. Save your file as an .STL part (File — Save As… — choose “.stl” from the dropbox menu).
  3. File MUST be named accordingly: printer_2010_MM_DD_teamColorA_part1.stl
    • "printer" should say either "alaris" or "uprint"
    • MM and DD is the month and date of file submission.
    • A/B is not necessary if teams are merged.
    • Part number is not necessary if only one file is being submitted.
  4. Save your solid part file using the same naming convention.
    • If an “Export” dialogue box appears, select “all bodies”.
  • Naming convention example:
  • One part submitted on October 31 by Green B to print using the Alaris:
    • alaris_2010_10_31_greenb.st
  • The third part submitted on September 7 by Blue to print using the uPrint:
    • uprint_2010_09_07_blue_part3.stl

Step 2 — Submit file

  1. Email .stl AND .sldprt file to 2009print3d.
    • Both files should be named according to the above naming convention.
  2. Subject title should be your team name and printer (eg. "Green B - Alaris").
  3. Type any special requests in the body of the email.


St
ep 3 — Authorize job

  1. After your file has been received and processed, you will receive a quote back for the part specifying the cost and the predicted delivery time.
    • Reply to the email authorizing the job to proceed or to cancel the job.
  • Note: this quote will be sent to the sender of the original file submission. If it should be sent to someone different, please specify this in the submission email.

  • If you or your teammates are interested in learning about the 3D printing process, please indicate this in your email and a time will be arranged for you to come in and see how the 3D printer works!

Step 4 — Pick up and pay for part

  1. Pick up part — arrangements will be sent to you once the job is completed.
  2. Submit invoice to Chevalley as usual.

 

Edgerton student shop

Another option is to use the 3D Printer in the Edgerton Student shop. Below are some quick specs of the Edgerton machine. Contact Mark Belanger for more information.

Resolution 0.007 or 0.010 inch
Bed Size 8 in x 8 in x 12 in
Material ABS
Cost $10/cubic inch (for class/research projects)

Note: Be sure to bring a requisition form to the Edgerton Center when you go to pay for your part so the team can be billed directly for it.