Jump to content
UltiMaker Community of 3D Printing Experts

Learning to print objects 101


Recommended Posts

Posted · Learning to print objects 101

So I have a co-worker who is a very dedicated STAR TREK fan

He has been after me to print an original series phaser

We found great CAD files on GrabCAD


Using Solid Works I converted the STEP file...


It looks very very cool!

I saved it as an STL and fired up Cura I had to move it around a lot to fit the platform but having never done anything like this, have no idea of this would print


Clearly a lot of the print would have issues printing....

So, guide me! How would one tackle something like this?


  • Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Posted · Learning to print objects 101

    I haven't studied it... but at first glance, I'd probably try printing it angled, with the bottom of the grip, and bottom back corner of the body touching the build plate. Then use lots of brim to stick it down at those points. That way its mostly 45º overhangs.


  • Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Posted · Learning to print objects 101

    >So, guide me! How would one tackle something like this?

    I have much experience printing prototypes of training guns used by my company's customers (large police departments in the U.S.). The orientation you selected in Cura is probably the best choice, given no modifications to the model. However, I would split the model horizontally (near the height of the muzzle) such that I could print it in two pieces with no level overhangs and full footprints on the bed to obtain the best possible bed adhesion and retention. Then I would mix up my own ABS cement by dissolving ABS in MEK (just like what's available in the plumbing section of home improvement and hardware stores in black only) and bond and clamp the two parts together.

    If you are using PLA, there are several threads here and on the reprap forum, as I recall, suggesting methods for bonding this more difficult to join material.

    I would post photos of my company's printed prototypes and also injection molded products, but they look too much like real guns (scary!) and would likely be deemed non-PC by many members of the "maker community!" :(


    Update: Just to be clear--my suggestion is to bisect the muzzle and print the top piece right side-up and the bottom piece upside-down (orientations are from the shooters perspective when presenting the gun, which is standard in the firearms industry when referring to directions like up/down and right/left, BTW). It should not require any support using this method but the two pieces will need to be joined. If you have an aversion to bonding the pieces together, you could use hardware (drill for screws, tap threads, use nuts, etc.).


  • Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Posted · Learning to print objects 101

    Certainly print a test one at half size first.

    Do you plan to paint it? If so you could consider just printing it as shown with "support" enabled. then sand and file it and then use bondo to fill in any cracks/tiny holes, then prime it with automotive primer then paint with any kind of paint you want (maybe acrylic).

    Also if you are painting it then it isn't so bad to print it in two halves. It's a lot of work getting those 2 halves to fit together nicely (both halves will warp) but lots of people have had success.


  • Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Posted · Learning to print objects 101

    This approach has its upsides and downsides. While it enables you to detect some problems, it does not adequately predict most problems associated with plastic shrinkage, including bed adhesion, and even bridging problems sometimes. I no longer bother to print under-size test prints, because they too often turn out to be a waste of plastic and printer time after the full-size version still develops problems, despite a successful under-size test print.

    Under-size test prints are great for learning the art and wizardry of 3D printing, however, and I also recommend that you use them while climbing your learning curve.

    I usually find it best to keep an eye on my first full size print to watch for developing problems. Usually I can abort the print, if I see an unacceptable problem developing.


    Certainly print a test one at half size first.


  • Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now
    • Our picks

      • UltiMaker Cura 5.3 stable released
        In this stable release, Cura 5.3 achieves yet another huge leap forward in 3D printing thanks to material interlocking! As well as introducing an expanded recommended print settings menu and lots of print quality improvements. Not to mention, a whole bunch of new printer profiles for non-UltiMaker printers!
          • Thanks
          • Like
        • 27 replies
      • Here it is. The new UltiMaker S7
        The UltiMaker S7 is built on the success of the UltiMaker S5 and its design decisions were heavily based on feedback from customers.
        So what’s new?
        The obvious change is the S7’s height. It now includes an integrated Air Manager. This filters the exhaust air of every print and also improves build temperature stability. To further enclose the build chamber the S7 only has one magnetically latched door.
        The build stack has also been completely redesigned. A PEI-coated flexible steel build plate makes a big difference to productivity. Not only do you not need tools to pop a printed part off. But we also don’t recommend using or adhesion structures for UltiMaker materials (except PC, because...it’s PC). Along with that, 4 pins and 25 magnets make it easy to replace the flex plate perfectly – even with one hand.
        The re-engineered print head has an inductive sensor which reduces noise when probing the build plate. This effectively makes it much harder to not achieve a perfect first layer, improving overall print success. We also reversed the front fan direction (fewer plastic hairs, less maintenance), made the print core door magnets stronger, and add a sensor that helps avoid flooding.

        The UltiMaker S7 also includes quality of life improvements:
        Reliable bed tilt compensation (no more thumbscrews) 2.4 and 5 GHz Wi-Fi A 1080p camera (mounted higher for a better view) Compatibility with 280+ Marketplace materials Compatibility with S5 project files (no reslicing needed) And a whole lot more  
        Curious to see the S7 in action?
        We’re hosting a free tech demo on February 7.
        It will be live and you can ask any questions to our CTO, Miguel Calvo.
        Register here for the Webinar
          • Like
        • 18 replies
      • UltiMaker Cura Alpha 🎄 Tree Support Spotlight 🎄
        Are you a fan of tree support, but dislike the removal process and the amount of filament it uses? Then we would like to invite you to try this special release of UltiMaker Cura. Brought to you by our special community contributor @thomasrahm
        We generated a special version of Cura 5.2 called 5.3.0 Alpha + Xmas. The only changes we introduced compared to UltiMaker Cura 5.2.1 are those which are needed for the new supports. So keep in mind, this is not a sneak peek for Cura 5.3 (there are some really cool new features coming up) but a spotlight release highlighting this new version of tree supports.  
          • Like
        • 22 replies
    • Create New...