Developer's Kit
MULTI-MATERIAL 3D PRINTER
Visual start guideDashboard

Setting up a Print Build using Dashboard

Contents

This article explains the steps needed to slice and print a single or multi-material part using the Voxel8 Dashboard.


Designing your part

Setting up a Developer's Kit print build with the Voxel8 Printer is straight forward; but first off you will need to have designed a part to print. 

If you have not already checked out the Generic CAD Design Workflow article, SolidWorks tutorials, or Autodesk materials in the Design section of this site; you should do so now.

It is also highly recommended that if you are printing multi-material silver with thermoplastic that you first visit the official Design Guidelines which will aid you in understanding what is possible, and what is not when printing two materials on Voxel8 Developer's Kit printer.

NOTE: When printing single thermoplastic, the Voxel8 Developer's Kit is very close to other 3D Printers with FFF extrusion.

Once a part has been designed, the output files (i.e. STL files) can be uploaded, or sent to Dashboard for slicing. The steps below outline the procedure.


Uploading your part

1. After generating and exporting your model in a CAD package you will have at least one or more plastic models in .STL format to print.

Multi-material prints will have a combination of body .STL files, component .STL files, as well as trace .STL files.

These files will all need to be uploaded into dashboard. There are two ways to accomplish this: Manual Upload (see Picture 001 and 002) and Automatic (see Picture 003 & 004).

  • Manual Upload

    When uploading multiple STL files, you must select all of them at once in order to preserve their z-index order on the build plate.
    IMPORTANT NOTE: If you manually select each STL file in the manual upload procedure, then each one will be sent to z-index 0 (i.e. the build plate floor). This will not look right when you import. Select all files at once to preserve your z layering from your exported .STL files from your CAD package.
    NOTE: If you forget, it is possible to unify the objects by pressing (depending on operating system) ctrl or cmd and multi-clicking on your imported parts will unify them


    Picture 001: Manual Upload into Dashboard using an HTTP upload. 



    Picture 002: Selecting a downloaded .STL from your computer.

  • Automatic



    Picture 003: Sending files to Dashboard from the Voxel8 SolidWorks add-in.



    Picture 004: Sending files to Dashboard from Autodesk Project Wire.


Slicing your part

1. Once your .STL files have been uploaded, it is time to convert them into gcode that the Developer's Kit printer can interpret. This means slicing them using the Voxel8 slicer called "Euclid" that runs behind the scenes in the Voxel8 Dashboard user interface.

2. Select the part (see Picture 005A), by clicking on it in A or on the build plate.

Picture 005: The plastic part 2ndprint_FFF.stl is loaded into Dashboard.

3. Now that it's selected (using A or B below), choose "Plastic" from the right hand menu under "type".

Picture 006 A,B,C: A = the currently uploaded files, B = visualized parts on the build plate, C = the type selected (e.g. silver, component, body, plastic, etc).

4. To slice the parts properly, you'll need to first assign the materials for each .STL that you have uploaded (see Picture 007). Make sure that the 2ndprint_FFF.stl is selected as plastic and not silver.

NOTE: If you do not correctly set types on your parts, your silver may print as plastic and vice versa. This is not ideal, so always verify that you have the correct types set in Dashboard before printing.

Picture 007: The body is set to plastic.

5. Now you'll want to select the silver trace that is part of the 2ndprint_silver.STL (see Picture 008).

Picture 008: The silver trace object is selected.

6. Once selected, change the type to "silver" from the menu on the right.

Picture 009: The trace is set to silver materials in the type drop down.

7. Give the part a valid name (see Picture 010A) and then save it (see Picture 010B and Picture 011).



Picture 010 A & B: The part is named before saving it.

Picture 011: The "Save" button starts the slicing process on the new build.

8. During the save process, the selected parts on the build plate will be sliced into gcode (see Picture 012).

Picture 012: The part is being sliced using the path planning algorithms in Dashboard.


Sending your part to the Developer's Kit Printer

1. Once you have sliced your model using the correct configuration settings for your printed design, you'll send the files to the Printer.

This can happen two ways: Manually and Automatically.

  • Manually - by hitting the "Download G-Code" button (see Picture 013A) and then uploading the generated gcode to the printer via Control Interface (i.e. Octoprint).

  • Automatically - by sending the gcode directly to the printer over a network with the "Send to Printer" button (see Picture 013B).



    Picture 013A and B: Downloading the gcode, or sending the gcode directly to the printer.

Printing

Once you have sliced your parts in Dashboard, and have sent them down to the printer, you're ready to setup the Developer's Kit for printing (i.e. load materials).

For instructions on how to do that, make sure you have run through the Visual Start guide where everything is explained.

1. Selecting the file to print from the touchscreen UI (see Picture 014). In this case, "2ndprint".

Picture 014: Selecting a printer job through the touchscreen user interface.

2. Now hit the print button to execute the build (see Picture 015).

Picture 015: Printing the part.

3. The Voxel8 Developer's Kit will take the sliced gcode and print it (see Picture 016).


Picture 016: The calibration part (i.e. "2ndprint") printed in thermoplastic PLA and silver.

Now that you know the basics of working with Dashboard to slice and print parts, you can move into some of the other features of it. Refer to the Dashboard Overview page.

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