Happy Friday everyone! Four weeks in and things are going great in the MakerSpace! I think we are quickly coming up to speed for another great AY and I love the creativity and interest already being shown in the MakerSpace. I will try to provide updates nominally weekly – probably on Friday – but also not provide too much noise to distract everyone.
I have two main methods to communicate to everyone, (1) through this BLOG and the website and (2) through the Jamboard in the MakerSpace. If you go into the MakerSpace, please tap the Jamboard to wake it up and take a quick look at any announcements (Frame 3). Users can also leave feedback for me and Marc on frames 4 and 5.
I will try to follow a common format for these weekly updates, and I will also try to be brief.
- Preform, the software that runs our SLA printers, is currently not operational on Pinky & Brain. If you need to print in SLA (which no one in my AM class currently HAS to) then use SEADEVIL (Preform is working fine on SEADEVIL remotely or locally). This is my #1 priority and I hope to have it fixed this weekend.
- All MakerBot printers except Potter are fully functional and the MakerBots are printing quite well. If you ever experience long transfer times for the MakerBots (more than a few minutes), please let me know immediately. This was a major problem last year that I believe we fixed.
- The Ultimaker printers are also fully functional and are loaded with a variety of filaments including PLA, ABS, TPU, CPE, and Nylon and all Ultimakers are currently loaded with breakaway filament for supports.
- The Formlabs printers are fully operational with 1 new change: the printer JustTarsier is now a restricted use printer and is clearly labelled. Only extremely selective MIDN should print to this printer.
- I know that the Z: drive mapping is not working for users on Pinky and Brain (the mapping does not persist - it should be working on SEADEVIL). I am working to fix this. Users do not have to use this Z: drive although it is recommended. A solution is in the works but for now users must remap the drive every session. Drive mapping is written on the Jamboard. Thank ITSD for this one…
- Everything else IT wise is working great and I believe the updates we made over the summer are working well.
- Believe it or not, I hate rules so I try to not to make many rules. I want the MakerSpace to be an open place where you can be creative and experiment – even if that is just printing more Captain America models. But to keep the MakerSpace operating there are few rules that I will occasionally have to impose. For now here are a few specific items you must clear through me or Marc:
(1) Do not make a new SLA trays (i.e. do not open a new box and start a new tray) without my or Marc’s permission.
(2) Do not change the types of materials in the Ultimaker without me or Marc’s permission and specifically do not put a non-Ultimaker branded filament in one of the Ultimakers.
(3) Users need my or Marc’s permission prior to using any LulzBot or the Intamsys printer. I have not even covered the LulzBots yet in the AM class and they are specifically not tuned for operation. There is currently only 1 authorized users of the LulzBots other than me and Marc and she knows specifically who she is.
- I am overall encouraged by the condition and use of the MakerSpace so please keep up the good work.
- Marc and I have specifically not being clearing build plates because we want new users to get familiar with how to handle post printing, but as the MakerSpace gets busier all users should help remove completed jobs to keep printers available for use. As a reminder, users can and should remove other users parts from the printers but should not perform any post processing to include raft or support removal.
- Cleaning supplies are readily available in the MakerSpace. Users should frequently wash their hands, use provided hand sanitizers, and clean up after themselves in particular if you work in the MakerSpace for an extended time.
- Many users are already gravitating to more complex materials and longer prints – which is a good thing – but as you progress in difficulty, you should monitor your jobs more closely.
- Print failures WILL occur and are acceptable, but print failure can cause damage to the printer and or printer components and failure to follow guidelines or to not appropriately monitor jobs is not an acceptable reason for damage from print failures.
- Once my AM class gets past our current assignment, we will load the Ultimakers with PVA filament instead of breakaway filament. Me and Marc will conduct some test prints and tune the printers for PVA, but users should be aware that PVA can be challenging to print with and can cause a variety of printer errors that me and Marc are all too familiar with. If you printed a cool model but had problems with supports, you should try your model again with PVA.
- The Form3L (larger format SLA) printer will be the next printer to arrive and should be operational this semester. Users will be able to use this printer, but this printer will include some additional constraints, e.g. a VERY large Baby Yoda could end up costing ~$100 or more in resin and days of print time so I do not want unnecessary use of these consumables.
- We are making progress on the Desktop Metal system, the Intamsys, and another SLS PBF printer (Fuse1) is also not too far away, but most likely these will not be operational until the Spring.
- Now the bad news… I have a major collateral duty that is just about to start so my time helping in the MakerSpace will decrease soon. This is one of the main reasons I have spent so much time getting all printers tuned and ready for use. I will still continue to help, but the real “plan for the MakerSpace,” especially as we get into the Spring, is for users from my AM class to become the experts and be able to help run the lab and perform printing for Capstone teams and other projects. If you are on a Capstone team that wants to do 3D printing and do not have a team member in my AM class, you are now behind. You need to get up to speed quickly or else our ability to support your needs will become limited. Sorry, just a reality.
Ok, that was a long first weekly update. Have a good weekend and Happy Printing!