Preparing 3D Print Files for the Zortrax Printers

Before you begin: Work locally. Always start by moving your file to the desktop. Opening and printing files from a USB (or other) drive can create problems.

 

1 The software that prepares models for 3D printing on the Zortrax printers is called Z-Suite. Open Z-Suite and start by selecting the type of printer that you will be using - the M200. (Note: on Macs the software sometimes takes a minute to load)

(You may use any 3D modeling software that you are comfortable using to create your file, as long as you are able to output it as an .stl.)

2 Open your .stl file in Z-Suite, by navigating to the “+” symbol on the left navigation bar, and then to your saved .stl. (Note: large .stl fi les may take several minutes to load)

Be sure you are formatting your file for the Zortrax M200. The dropdown menu in the lower left-hand corner of your screen should read M200.

3 Additional models may be added by clicking the “+” button.

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Fig 1 - Printer Selection

 

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Fig 2 - Splitting the Model

4 Orient and size your model for printing. Generally, printing in or near the middle of the plate is best. Also, be sure to orient your model to minimize overhangs and for the easiest removal of support material. Select your model by clicking on it. Then select the appropriate tool from the menu bar on the left to modify your print.

The Move button allows you to shift the position on the plate, the Rotate button rotates the model on multiple axes, and the Scale button changes the size of the model.

Models that overlap or fall off the edge of the build plate will be highlighted in red. Models too large for the build plate may be split into multiple pieces using the Split Tool

5 When your object is oriented and ready to print, click the Print Settings button on the bottom right.

 

6 The default settings work well for most models, but there are some settings that - depending on your model - you may want to adjust.

Material: Should ALWAYS be set to Z-ABS 2

Support: The higher the angle of the support, the more support will print. Increase this angle if your model has areas that are sagging due to being unsupported. A setting of 0% will print with no support material. Select Editable here if you want to manually adjust the supports at a later step. (Note: manually editing supports introduces extra risk to your print. Only use this advanced option if you are very confident that your edits will be beneficial as all edits can increase the chance of print failure)

Nozzle Diameter: Should ALWAYS be set to .4

Layer Thickness: Selecting a smaller layer thickness will give you more detail, but will take significantly longer to print. Larger layer thickness will print faster but with less detail.

Quality: Should ALWAYS be set to High for best results.

Infill Density: Determines how dense the interior mesh of the model is. 50% infill is ideal for most models. Lower infill will reduce print time. Higher infill will take the longest to print, but yield a more sturdy and solid model.

Print Cooling: Normally, auto fan speed works best. If your print is having trouble with warping, set the fan speed to 0%. If fine details are drooping, increase the fan speed.

7 When your print is ready, select Preview (on the bottom right). Note: this process may take several minutes depending on the size of your print. Also, if you selected editable supports earlier, it will take you to an additional screen to make those edits).

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Fig 3 - Print Settings

 

8 When your print is ready Z-Suite will show you a preview. The blue is your model and white is support material. On the right of your screen you will see a report of your settings as well as an estimated print time.

If something does not look correct, click Back and re-adjust your print settings. If everything looks good, click Export File and then Export File again to save your .zcode file.

9 Upload your .zcode file to the Zortrax 3D Print Request form: 
https://go.illinois.edu/artZortraxRequest!

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Fig 4 - Print Preview