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3D Printing

Guide to support students using 3D printers in the Innovation Lab

Getting Started

Make sure your file is in an .STL format (These can be created using a variety of software or downloaded from Thingiverse.)

The software we use is called "GrabCAD Print". The image below shows the desktop of our workstation for academic use. You must have permission to use this software. It works in conjunction with our Stratasys uPrint SE+ 3D printers which are only for academic use.

Click the "GrabCAD Print" logo to start the software. The software is secured and will need a lab technician to input a password.


GrabCAD Print has an interface very similar to MakerBot Print software. The key difference between the two is the amount of adjustment to print settings that can be performed. GrabCAD has fewer options but that is due to various controlled methodology in its build process.The toolbar on the right hosts all the necessary tools for setting up your models.

The bottom icon on the toolbar is the "Scale" tool. Use the X,Y,Z fields to alter the dimensions of your object by either percentages or units of measurement. If "Uniform Scaling" is checked, the proportions of the model will be locked in the X,Y, and Z dimension. Uncheck this option to manipulate the dimensions independently.


The second icon from the bottom on this toolbar is the "Orient" tool. Use this tool to rotate the object along any axis. With models that can be hard to align to the build plate or other orientation, using the "Orient Face to Plane" option within this tool's window can help to ease the alignment process.


The The third icon from the bottom on the toolbar is the "Arrange" tool. This tool moves object(s) in all 3 axes using convenient buttons that increase or decrease by 10 units of measurement or by inputting specific numbers into the corresponding X,Y, Z fields.


The fourth icon from the bottom is the "Support Setting" icon. This shows the support settings for the currently selected object. Leaving the default settings of "SMART" for Support Style and "45°" for Self-Supporting Angle are ideal settings that should remain unchanged.


The fifth icon from the bottom is the "Model Settings" icon. This shows the infill settings for the selected object. Choose the far left infill pattern  "Sparse" setting for most models. The other two should be used sparingly with focus on slender pieces or mechanical applications that would benefit from a higher density.


The sixth icon from the bottom is the "Tray Setting" icon. This shows the resolution choices available for the uPrint SE+ 3D printer.



Note the STL size at the bottom of the screen. This is the size of your object in inches. If you need to make it smaller or bigger, you can adjust in the Properties (right side of screen)

Project Panel

Though this "Project Panel" icon can be used to add models to the virtual build plate, it is also a convenient way to load multiple models and set up trays with various parts to organize large projects.


Once you have adjusted the object to your liking, click on "Slice Preview" icon, the third icon down on right toolbar. The model will be sliced into gcode. After this calculation, your model will show in preview mode. Use the slider on the left to view the build process of your model from first layer to last. Some features allow more precise viewing of structures and building process.


Located near the center bottom of the preview window is the "View Estimates" button. Click this to view material usage and time estimates.

If you are satisfied with all the settings and the time to print, then click on "Print" in the lower right portion of the window.

Press the “Start Model” option on the 3D printer.

You can check on the time remaining by pushing the “Time” option on the 3D printer.

IMPORTANT: This printer uses 2 different filaments for every print. One is the actual model filament and the other is a dissolvable filament meant to act as temporary support. MOST models will need to be run in our chemical bath to remove this dissolvable filament. This can be anywhere from 4 to 12 hours of runtime with an additional 4 hours of water bath and dry time. This all varies with model build and model volume. Please ask Lab Technician of any concerns you may have in regards to time constraints.

Have a question? Ask a librarian! Email Call or text 386-747-9028.