G-Code files to run the 3D printer are generated with slicing software. Slic3r is a good, free, open source software. We have printer definitions for the CreatorBot to use with slic3r.
One Time Setup
- Open slic3r.
- In the menu bar select File->Preferences. In the preferences window under "Mode" select "Expert".
- Click "OK".
- Restart Slic3r
- You should now have more dropdown options on the right side of the "Plater" view:
Slicing a File for Printing
- Download printer definitions and unzip: Slic3r_creatorbot_configs.zip. This contains two files: Slic3r_creatorbot_config_ABS and Slic3r_creatorbot_config_PLA. These correspond to the print head and platform build temperatures for ABS and PLA materials, respectively.
- In slic3r, load your printer configuration. File->Load Confi'. Select Slic3r_creatorbot_config_ABS or Slic3r_creatorbot_config_PLA in the file dialog, depending on what material you are printing. Click "Open." The size of your build platform should update to reflect the Creatorbot settings.
- On the right hand side of the slicer window, select your printer config (for ex. Slic3r_creatorbot_config_PLA.ini) under "Print settings", "Filament", and "Printer".
- In the toolbar at top of the 3d view, click "Add" to add a new file to print.
- In the file dialog, select the STL file you saved from your 3d modeling software. Click "Open".
- You should now see your file in the Plater 3D view.
- Click on "Preview" at the bottom of the Slic3r window to switch to the print preview view:
- You should see a layer by layer 3d preview of the printing process. You can use the slider on the right to scroll through the print layers. Yellow lines are shell passes. Red lines are infill passes. Green are brim and skirt passes.
- This model needs support!
Adding Support Structure
If your part has overhangs, you will want to add support material so that it prints properly.
- Switch to "Print Settings"
- Select "Support Material" from the list on left.
- Click the checkbox for "Generate Support":
- Select "Multiple Extruders" from the list on the left.
- Change both "Support material extruder" fields to extruder #1:
- Return to the "Plater" view
- You should see support structure added to your model in green:
- You are ready to print!
Export Gcode File
- On the right side of the "Plater" view, select "Export Gcode":
- In the export window, save your file:
- This .gcode file (for ex: balloon_dog.gcode above) is what you will copy to your USB drive to print on the CreatorBot.
- All files including gcode for this example are here: balloon_dog.zip