Tutorial 3D Printer Fab@Home
To use the 3D Printer, it is necessary to go by the following different steps.
3D Printer setting up:
- Download the FTDI USB to Serial Drivers from the link:
http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/VCP.htm (according to your operating system).
- Turn the SnapHub on after ensuring all the needed motors are plugged into the hub.
- Plug the fabathome into your computer throught the USB cable.
- When the driver assistant manager windows pops up, select “Install driver manually”.
- Select the driver downloaded earlier, and clic ok.
- Download the FabInterpreter from the Fab@Home Software page:
- Find which COM port the printer is on.
- Left click on My computer and click Manage.
- Open Device manager.
- Under Ports look for the Com port used by a UART device or USB Serial Converter, left click on the port, open Properties and find its value (COM#).
- Change the comport values in the files of the folder Printer Config, to be that value.
- Open FAB2.exe which is the FabInterpreter.
- Load New Configuration. The files are located in the folder FabInterpreter\Printer Configs. Select Dual Syringe - Model 2 file.
How to use the 3D printer:
- The Program requires that a directory called "temp" be present on the C drive. That is, "C:\temp\". If it doesn’t exist, create it.
- Create your part with a CAD program (ProE, AutoCAD, SolidWorks…). Warning: printing a STL shorter than the tool pathheight causes the software to crash when plan process is used. Make sure that the height of the part is a multiple of the tool pathheight according to the material used.
- Save the part as a STL file.
- Download the FabStudio software from the Fab@Home software page:
- Open FabAtHome.exe.
- Choose your printer type if it’s the first time of use: the .printer file is located in FabStudio\SourceCode\printer folder (or you can click on the Config/Movetab, select Printer Configuration). For this printer you have to pick the 2 syringes file. The printer should appear in 3D.
- Click on Config/Move tab, and Tool Configuration.
- In the Tool Configuration Properties window, select Change Tool Directory, and select a random tool in order for tool profiles to appear in the left column.
- Select the configuration according to the material used, and Mount it, then Save, and Close.
- Click on the Model tab, Import Geometry, and select your STL file. You can rotate/translate/change the scale of the model in the Model tab. You can delete it in the Edit tab.
- Double click on the part to open the Fabrication properties window, and select the tool/material that you selected on step 9.
- To create the .fab file select the part and click on Plan Process under the Fabrication tab. The fab files are generated with the name "test.fab" and placed in the temp directory.
- Open the FabInterpreter, switch on the hub and Load Previous Configuration.
- Calibrate the position of each motor by adjusting the Commande Position X Y and Z, according to where the model is going to be built, especially the Z position. The tapper of the syringe must touch (slightly) the Z-table. Then Reset Position.
- Load the .fab file in C:\temp.
- In the column Material Calibration, choose one for each Bay.
- Click on Execute.
A list of examples of different materials is given on this page: