This tutorial, and the linked articles, should allow users with minimal 3D printing experience to create physical parts using Cura and the H-Series machine 3D printing functionality. Additional instructions for milling operations and more detailed multi-axis printing can be found on our website. It is expected that the user has the H-Series machine un-boxed, network connected, filament loaded, and ready for use. Further information regarding machine setup can be found here.
Installing Cura and the H-Series Plugin
See this article for detailed instructions about how to install Cura with the H-Series plugin.
Model Setup in Cura
1) Open Cura and make the following selections:
Profile: H-Series Standard
Materials: 3 - Diabase TPU 88A, 4 - Diabase TPU 98A, 5 - Diabase TPU 75D
If you do not already have these settings available, make sure you have installed Cura correctly. You may also go to the Diabase Cura plugin repository to find the latest project file with these settings by default.
2) Import the files attached below (DurometerKey files) by clicking the folder icon in the upper-left of the image above. It should come in to Cura like this:
Select all parts and click "Merge Models" to align the origins of the model files:
Right-click again and click "Ungroup Models" to separate the files:
Now you can click each model individually and apply different tools to it using the buttons on the left of the screen:
Apply materials so that they match the image above (#5 - Rounded key end on the left, #4 - second segment and logo, #3 - rightmost segment)
Printer Settings in Cura
Note the ‘Prepare' and ‘Preview’ tabs at the top. ‘Preview’ is useful for seeing how your object will print.
The Top Middle Bar (Materials) shows all of the tool-heads. Tool 3, Tool 4 and Tool 5 are the 3D printing extruders for H4 (These numbers may vary for H5, so the user should identify where the extruders are.) You can specify the desired filament used for each extruding nozzle.
The Top Right Bar shows all of the Print Settings. Tabs for each tool-head have their own unique settings. These should already be correct for the print we are doing here, but say you wanted to change one material to a different TPU with different characteristics:
- Select ’Material’ to change the ’Printing Temperature’ to the recommended value for the different filaments used on each extruder. If T4 is loaded with a softer, lower-temperature
- TPU, you may want to change the ’Flow’ and "Temperature" settings:
gcode File Output from Cura
Once the object is ready to print, select ’Slice’ at the bottom right (this is already done if the "Slice automatically" setting is selected in Preferences > Configure Cura.). This will create a .gcode file which the H-Series machine reads and interprets into physical movement.
At the very top of the Cura software, you can select ’Preview’ and use the slide toggles to view a simulation of the print. Check for possible errors here.
- If everything looks good, select ’Save to File’ and the gcode will be saved to a desired location on your computer.
Note: the red "1" bubble is a good indicator that the H-Series Post-processor is active (critical to success with Cura).
Web-Based H-Series Control
1) Connect to the H-Series machine via DuetWebControl in a browser. This is how the user can operate the H-Series machine. See the article about the Controller Interface for detailed information about what each page does.
Ensure the machine motion is all operational by clicking the "Home All" button. (See image below for reference)
Next, choose an extruder (T3, for example) by clicking on "Tool 3" in the tool table. The machine will rotate the turret so that Tool 3 is pointing down. Next, slowly jog the Z axis down so the tool nozzle barely touches the bed. You can jog with the dashboard buttons on DWC or with the Pendant. When the nozzle tip just barely touches the print bed, the Tool Position Z value should be very near to 0.00.
Start the 3D Print
At the Top Right of the web controller, select ’Upload & Start’ (see image above).
Navigate to the '.gcode’ file recently created in Cura and select it. NOTE: The printer will home again and immediately start the printing process once the file is opened!
- The H-Series machine will begin by using the Probe to auto-level the bed, ensuring first that the extruders and the print bed are well-aligned, and second to compensate for any out-of-planarity in the bed. The machine will then wait while the extruders heat up to their specified temperatures. Also, each extruder is primed and cleaned at the cleaning station when it is about to be used.
- The red Emergency Stop button can be pressed at any time if the print causes malfunction. There is also a ’Pause Print’ option located in the ’Status’ section of the Left Side toolbar, so one can pause and resume.
Once the print is complete, use acetone in a squirt bottle and apply a small puddle at the edge of the part to get underneath the print. While not required, this works especially well to release a TPU material print off of the Kapton print surface.
This tutorial is complete. You can now adjust models, materials, and print settings as required to produce any other parts.