Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

3D Printing

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

Importing Files into Simplify3D

There are three quick ways to load your file:

  •  Click on "File" and "Open Factory File"/"Import Models" and select your file from the location it is saved.
  • Use the in-program "Import" to add models to the build plate.
  • If Simplify3D software is already open and you have your .stl (from desktop or other local file location), you can click and drag the .stl file onto the virtual build plate.

Getting Started

The image below is of the background of the corresponding computer station for our MakerGears. You will see it has an image of each machine this computer is able to print to as well as the program icons below to indicate what programs to use. Use this background image to help determine if you are at the right machine or not. The RED boxes on the image indicate the program icons that you can click to start the program(s).


For MakerGear 3D printer you will use the Simplify3D windows pictured below. These windows are prepared at the beginning of the day to provide a consistent experience and understanding of which window to use. If you do not see the windows, please look to the taskbar since they may be minimized by other users. DO NOT CLOSE THESE WINDOWS!!


ONLY IF YOU CANNOT FIND THESE WINDOWS, then double-click the "Simplify3D" icon to start the software.

After starting, the software needs to connect to the MakerGear Printers. Follow this method, click the gear icon second from the bottom on the right toolbar. This brings up the "Machine Control Panel", from here select either "COM207" (left MakerGear) or "COM201"(right MakerGear) and then click "Connect" at top right. Once button turns green the 3D printer has established a connection.

After your model has loaded into the 3D plane (see above section,"Importing Files into Simplify3D" for loading a model), you can double click the model to open up the menu for Position, Scaling and Rotation. After setting the dimensions and properties of your model(s) then click on "Center and Arrange" to automatically organize your model(s) in the center of the build plate..


To adjust print settings, double click on any current Process settings under the "Processes" window OR click on "Edit Process Settings". If no process exists in the "Processes" window, click "Add" to load a default process to edit.


The next window  will look like one of the below two images. Both images represent the "FFF Settings" window for editing settings but the first is a simplified version of more important settings while the second shows an "Advanced" version with many properties that can be adjusted. This view can be adjusted by the far button on the lower left of this window that can be toggled back and forth between "Show Advanced" and "Hide advanced". You can make changes to these settings to better suit your model build. Though loaded with default settings that work with most models, you can adjust settings here and then click "OK" to confirm your settings.



Once you have adjusted the object to your liking, click on "Prepare to Print!" button in the lower left corner. The model will be sliced into gcode. After this calculation, your model will show in preview mode. Use the slider on the bottom to view the build process of your model from first layer to last. Some features allow more precise viewing of structures and building process. As this preview mode is very accurate, please use it to confirm the build has a good foundation, no holes or missing components, and that it has support and/or raft as needed.

To send the model to the MakerGear, click on "Begin Printing over USB".


Please be mindful of the time your model needs to print. Time to complete should be before the library closes. To check on current library times, please click here.

Video Tutorial

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