BOOKMARKS AND UPDATES
The slicing software (Chitubox) described in this guide is an open-source program that is frequently updated. As such, the placement of buttons and other menu items described in this guide may change over time. This guide may change over time; therefore, we recommend bookmarking this page rather than printing this guide.
Choose a model file
Open Chitubox. This program allows us to prepare the models for 3D printing by adding supports and hollowing models, if necessary.
First, import your model using the ‘Open File’ tab at the top left of your screen
Select your model(s) and press “Open”
Next, select your model by clicking on it. We want to:
First, assess how large the model is. If the model is larger/smaller than we want it to be, click on the “Scale” tab to the center-left of your screen
Next, consider the geometry of your model. Large, flat surfaces don’t print well – the suction forces between the bottom of the printing vat and the build plate are our enemy. Flat surfaces should ideally be printed at a 15 - 25 degree angle to limit suction forces.
Lastly, we need to add supports to our model. You can do this for all of your models at the same time, or individually. “Light” supports are usually enough unless your model is very large; “Medium” and “Heavy” supports will keep the model from breaking away during printing, but are also more damaging to remove.
Auto-supports are usually plenty – clicking the “+All” option at the bottom right of your screen will add supports wherever Chitubox feels they are necessary.
Chitubox does a good job of predicting where support is needed; adding a few more to overhangs and other areas that seem like they might need it is never a bad idea, though. Click and hold the right mouse button to look your model over, and click with the left mouse button to add supports anywhere that you think might be needed.
Almost done! Our next step is to convert the models we've supported into a format that the 3D printer can read. To do that, click on the gear icon in the top right corner to return to the main menu of Chitubox. Then, click on "Slice."
Next, click on "Save." Save your items using this naming convention: Name_of_Items_#ofHours#ofMLsofresin ; e.g. Contest_Items_Second_Set_4H34m
Why? This lets me know how long the items will take to print and how much resin they will use at the printer
Remember to eject the flash drive! 3D printing files are oddly susceptible to data corruption; ejecting the flash drive between prints keeps it alive a little longer 🙂