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3D Printing at the UF Libraries: Printrbot Play

You can now print out an object in 3D at Marston Science Library, Education Library, or Health Science Center Library.

Download Links

What's Included in the Box

Printrbot Play in case

Power cable

USB cable

Laminated sheet

Blue tape

Students get a 225 gram spool of white filament until supply runs out.

How to use the Printrbot Play 3D Printers

​First Steps to Setting up Printer

  1. Install Cura version 15.04.4 clicking on the large red "Required Download" box at the Printrbot website: http://printrbot.com/project/play/
  2. Extract the zip files ( we recommend to your Desktop for easy finding )
  3. Open the Printrbot Getting Started Folder - Play 160225” folder (attention MAC COMPUTER users: open the “_MACOSX” folder instead
  4. Run the installation for the included Cura_15.04.4 software
  5. Connect printer to your computer using provided USB cable.
  6. Plug in printer to power outlet.  The printer is now turned on and you can verify by looking for a little green light near the micro SD card slot on the side.  There is no power switch so you will need to pull the power cable to turn off the printer.

Start a Print

  1. Read the “Getting Started with your First Print (Printrbot instructions)” guide, download link to the left
    1. install filament if necessary, according to the guide instructions
  2. Open Cura and import an .stl 3D model file.  There is an sample model called 3mmBox in the downloaded files that you can use to test the printer.
  3. Always use 215 degrees for printing.

Loading Model and Filament

  1. Resize and rotate model until it is the size/print time that you need and that the flattest portion is on the build plate.  
  2. Click on print and the printer interface window will open.
  3. Load PLA filament by heating up the printer to 215 degrees C.  Wait until the temperature stabilizes and then feed into the small opening right above the "pb" lettering.
  4. Click on extrude repeatedly (8+) until the filament is the correct color and extruding easily.
  5. Put or replace blue tape on bed.  Tape can be reused but should be smooth.
  6. Select raft or brim and supports if needed in main window.
  7. Click print in pronterface window.
  8. If model print fails, stop job in pronterface window.

NOTE: Leaving the printer idling with filament loaded in the print head, might cause the printer to clog. Please remove filament from print head and cool down nozzle (or turn off printer) when not printing a model.

Troubleshooting and Printing Tips

  1. The printer isn't recognized by my computer.
    • Make sure that the USB cable is connected between the printer and computer.
    • If using Windows, you may need to install a driver.  Install the driver in the set of links to the left.
    • Turn off and on the printer.
  2. The printer doesn't extrude.
    • Check the temperature and make sure that the printer is heating up to 215.  Try unloading and reloading the filament, being careful not to pull too quickly and leave bits in the nozzle.
    • Make sure that the filament is PLA.  Do NOT use any other type of plastic in this printer.
  3. The model doesn't stick to the build plate.
    1. Replace blue tape.
    2. Add a brim to the model.
  4. The printer doesn't home correctly.
    1. Check to make sure all cables are attached to the print head.
    2. Otherwise bring it back to the library so we can fix it.
  5. The filament keeps on breaking.
    1. Filament can get brittle when it absorbs too much moisture.  Ask us in the library for a new spool.
  6. I want to print using a color other than white!
    1. We do have a small amount of other colors that are remnants from the larger spools.  Ask at the desk.
    2. Otherwise, you can paint the models with any standard hobby paint that is suitable for plastic.  You can also use nail polish!
  7. What paints and glue should I use?
    1. We recommend trying E6000 epoxy for gluing prints.  Here are some instructions for painting PLA models: https://pinshape.com/blog/4-easy-steps-to-painting-3d-prints/
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