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ninfh

totally new to 3d printer, advice on learning to operate one

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hello, i' m totally new to 3d printer and to be honest i have never had the chance to see one beside videos.....i have been looking at this amazing project for quite a wile now and i finally decided to build one, and i was hoping to find someone kind enough to give me a few advice.

building the machine itself didn't really worry me since i design and build machinery for plastic film (mostly extruder for stretch film, rewinder, punching unit, slitter etc) and i know quite a lot of people who will have no problem on letting me use some cnc machineries to make the parts, and im used now to 3d modeling (even if i still sometime start to scream in frustration and want to go back to a drafting machine) but i' m quite puzzled with the actual settings of the machine, i tried to look around but i wasn't able to some sort of manual to learn how to use the software for the settings of the machine to learn it before building the printer (i don't want to build it and then waste months to try to find how it works).

is there any way to figure out how the different settings works besides doing tests with the machine?

thanks for reading this and i must apologies for my terrible english

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Hi,

I was worried about the electric bits and the software before I decided to go for it. The electronic bits were really easy afterwards but the software/ firmware was rather difficult to understand.

There are just too many options. Not the number of available programs that are out there but the compatiblity of hardware, software and firmware versions could be (a lot) better. Not every version of the software works with every version of firmware.

This results in a hard to understand workflow.

For example: Marlin build 2 works fine. With RepG 26 that is... No connection possible with Netfabb though which needed Marlin 1...

Daid does a fantastic job in writing easy-to-install firmware/softwares. Quite honestly I feel the Ultimaker team must improve the ease of use of the software in particular. Besides that, it will also help when some versions of the software get to a V1.0 status instead of being a alpha or beta status...

I understand the Ultimaker project is a RepRap derivative with an open source basis as is the software. This leads to quick and free developments by the community but also in a million versions. I think it's the Ultimaker's team decision to come up with a very stable version of firm- and software every 3 months or so. Even if the latest features are not included...

If you want to get yourself a stable connection with the Ultimaker, go with RepG 26 from the Ultimaker's software site. Upload Marlin build 2 firmware through RepG26 (easy to do!) and get yourself a copy of Netfabb. It adds another 150 Euros to the price tag but this software is easy to understand and needs little configuration thanks to Paul Candler's print profiles. Print the Netfabb gcode through RepG (better options than through Netfabb, also better than the new 4.9) and you have a wonderfully working combination!

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Daid does a fantastic job in writing easy-to-install firmware/softwares. Quite honestly I feel the Ultimaker team must improve the ease of use of the software in particular. Besides that, it will also help when some versions of the software get to a V1.0 status instead of being a alpha or beta status...

Ultimaker is a bit understaffed to do a lot of software stuff right now. They have a job opening for this, and maybe I'll apply for it ;-)

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I know about that Daid! ;-) You should indeed apply for it. Don't know how long it takes you to get to Geldermalsen, the Netherlands every day ;-)

From my reply one may read it as if I don't like my Ultimaker. That's not true, I love it! I just feel there's so much room for making the software stuff in particular more accessible for beginners.

Hardware-wise I know some of the latest developments and ideas. It's rather difficult to implement and test these ideas and takes (a lot of) time before everything works flawlessly. Nevertheless there's also a huge opportunity for Ultimaker to get some upgrade kits out (like a ready-to-go LCD display, heated bed, upgraded extruder, upgraded frame/ whatever they develop).

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