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Need to know what to do next and where I will be going, with Ender 3.


Erfolg
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The Ender 5 Pro uses a microSD card. Since the gcode files are small by modern standards - a few mB to a few 10's of mB - even an 8GB micro SD card will hold thousands of files. I don't have a microSD card slot on my computer, so have to use an SD to MicroSD card adaptor.

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Thanks for the responses. I now know that a 8GB (ball park) SD card is the way to go.

I just had a thought, is the USB stick actually a card reader. Initially I did not recognise that a SD card was inserted at the other end. I just thought it was a memory stick of some sort. If correct I do not need to buy a SD card reader.

 

I am glad that it has been pointed out it is a MicroSD card. I should kmow, my camera and my TX both have SD cards. Being less than observant, I had almost noticed the fact.

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Right, I now have a 16GB Scandisk MiniSD card.

 

I have an account with Thingiverse, I have found something I would like to print. I have clicked on the item. Now I am at a loss of how to get the print file onto my card (held in the Card Reader, supplied with the Ender.

 

I have tried to copy and seem to get nowhere.

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1 hour ago, Erfolg said:

I have tried to download what I thought was the file to the SD card in the USB reader in one of the port on my Laptop. 

 

All I seem to have is title on the card with no data, when inserted in the printer.

You will need to download and install slicing software which will convert the stl file into a gcode file which the printer can use.

The stl file you have downloaded from thingiverse is a 3d model of the object you wish to print.

I have an ender 3 and use the following slicer software.

 

https://ultimaker.com/software/ultimaker-cura

 

 

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As has been said all files from thingiverse or others are downloaded as an STL file ,download to a newly created 3d printer file folder remember where it is , next in order for the files to be able to print the have to be converted to G.Code files which are machine code files that are recognised by the printer control board, To do that you need a slicer program if I remember right ender uses Cura which is free to download.  Once cura is opened you are ready to import or open a file find your way to the 3d print files folder you created (trust me bit by bit it gets easier) in the slicer program (cura) the file you imported will be present on a facsimile of the 3d printer bed here it can be moved about or orientated to suit. Here again practise is needed ,now you have the 3d printer action to learn and now the cura software. Allow about a month's worth of headaches ?. Once the file/object is placed as you want click the button slice after slicing cura will want to know what to do with the created code this can be direct to your 3d printer via USB cable (not recommended because in case of your PC hicuping or going to sleep the print can fail) best method by far is to navigate to your sd card and have cura save the file there eject the card and transfer to 3d printer for printing .

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As has been pointed out the file you have downloaded from Thingiverse will be an STLfile - a virtual 3D object -and will need to be converted by your slicer software to the gcode file, which will instruct the printer exactly how to print that object.

 

The slicer that I use is Creality's version of Cura, which looks like this in use - dummy engine file just to show a 3D object. You can see some of the options in the menus on the left hand side, for print quality, temperature etc.

 

image.thumb.png.ef8802b975cfa0653aff6651ec6868bf.png

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Although I have not yet loaded a Slicer Program, I must thank you guys for your efforts. It may seem that I have ignored the info from, Barryobik, dad_flyer, Chris Bott Leccyflyer and Martian, I have just not taken in what has been written. The plus side is I am very slowly taking in the significance of the info provided.

 

There appears to be at least three slicer currently in use by you guys, ultimaker, prusa3d and Cura. When you know nothing, making a choice as to which is best suited to myself, could easily be pot luck.

 

Tomorrow I will start to address the slicer issue. Although at present I have no idea as to how to reach a rational decision. That is without actually using the software.

 

Plus there is the issue of how to effectively managed the generated files, to segregate and locate the files produced, on the laptop or PC (I find the PC a little easier to use)

 

It ay appear to be a mundane issue, there issue of effective SD card storage consideration, just leaving then on the table is not on, i will loose them, plus they are so small, how to identify what is on each card?

 

Today I have printed the pig, now finding my way around the printer controls easier, even though not much is actually demanded from me, to get a print (as yet).

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Just like organising any files in Windows, it's just a matter of coming up with a folder structure. I've put a screengrab of mine below - based on different bits and pieces that I've collected various STL and other files of, over the years.

image.thumb.png.487c9ac9226dce5b5a48dbd64cbac414.png

 

You don't actually need more than one MicroSD card -but using two, one in the PC/laptop and one in the printer makes things a bit easier. I typically save the gcode file to my SD Card folder and then copy that to the MicroSDcard for printing. You aren't going to need the stl files on the card, just the gcode files, so when you have a new file that you want to print, you can save a copy to the MicroSD card in the computer and then put that into the printer MicroSD card slot -it'll then be the first file on the list that appears on the printer display. So you don't actually need to identify what is on each card -the number of files that will fit is so large that you can have the same files on both cards, with n+1 files on the card that you are printing from. Or just use a single card.

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Personally I prefer the Prusa slicer software, but like all software and as you have found, there are a variety to chose from. Fortunately you don't have to pay so you can try them out first and see which one suits you.

 

image.thumb.png.6e7c28fe501465b0db0c7cff8e5d9371.png

 

But once you have your slicing software you can then print off your own SD card storage container

 

IMG_6226D.thumb.JPG.cfcff2b881b8de7b4360d869f5e3671a.JPG

 

IMG_6227D.thumb.JPG.338b6e41a6c03ceb5a87866f67743010.JPG

 

As Leccy says above, create some form of logical (to you) folder structure on your PC to store your STL (and associated) files.

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I use prusa slicer because I have a prusa 3d printer, but also if needed use other slicers such as simplify, cura .as creality  ender 3 use Cura I would opt for that there are pros and cons for all of them the good thing is they all have user forums for help and guidance. There are a lot of terms associated with 3d printers and until you become more familiar with them it is a bit like learning Latin but bit by bit you will become accustomed.  Sometimes it helps to create a flowchart of the process.

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From what has been  written "Cura" seems an obvious option to down load, as the Ender 3 seems to be shipped with 3 models loaded on a there SD card using it. They all run well on the machine.

Now that is all well and good, other than there appears to be at least versions of slicer available, that is 4.0, 4.7 and 4.9 available. At first observation 4.9 seems an obvious choice, being the newest. In life not all is as obvious as it first seems. I am thinking that earlier versions of Windows allowed folders to be created using the visible tree structure, also all the branches could be easily seen.

 

I must thank Leccyflyer to ensuring that I have created the basic filing structure within a 3D folder (I know I should have done it anyway, but I have become less disciplined).

 

Yep, Ron has told me what I must do as an early print, a storage container.

 

In the meantime which Cura slicer to try?

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I used Cura for a very long time and then tried Prusaslicer just out of curiousity and because they added a printer profile specifically for my Ender 3 pro. 

I've never gone back. 

I found the profile almost spot on, I think I just needed to increase print temperature a bit. 

 

What you'll find with any slicer software is that there are 1001 parameters that can be adjusted to get the print quality you want. It can be quite a task with lots of failed prints and head scratching untill all the important parameters are right for your machine. A baseline setup for your printer model is always a useful starting point and a good thing to go back to when things start going wrong. 

 

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Hi Chris, to be honest I have struggled, even to down load Ultimaker Cura.

I have struggled even more to get a file out of Thingiverse. I did manage to get a file, do not know how, other than spot it needed Unzipping. Then I found I have not got Unzip on my laptop, although I think the PC has it. 

 

Now I cannot extract a file out of Thiniverse to unzip. If I only knew what I am doing.

 

Tommorow is another day, after doing the weekly shop I will have another day. The good news is that the daughters dog has now gone back, freeing up another good 4 hours (1.5 hours walk).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Files you download from Thingiverse will go into your Downloads folder and will have either the name of the object or sometimes it will just be a number but the file should be the latest file there (in your Downloads folder).

 

You should not need a separate 'tool' to unzip the file that is downloaded, just double click on it and it will open to show the folder structure within, such as this:

 

image.thumb.png.b3f102f0926afc1553d1a36951b662bd.png

 

Open the Files folder and you will find the STL files that you want for the slicer program

 

image.thumb.png.b154117cf2ab84b060319e2ade811f20.png

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Yet again i will need to retrace the posts, particularly the latest. The reasons being in that I still do not know what to do.

 

I have managed to transfer a Thingiverse file to the printer and run of the item, a SD storage case.

 

The problem is that I do not know how I did it. Certainly not as I intended. Another important aspect is that I have created a number of folders, and this file is not in there. So more study is required, some learning in a number of areas, so that I can work in confidence.

 

That is before I start trying to design my own components. 

 

 

 

WP_20210823_18_04_43_Pro.jpg

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Erfolg

Treat the micro SD card just as the transfer medium to get from the PC to the printer. The problem using an SD card is it is big enough to hold hunfrads of print files yet your printer can only go through them is sequence. I remove old files off the card once they have been printed to my satisfaction, however there is nothing stopping you keeping a copy of the gcode file on the PC if you want to print another at a later date without having to go to the bother of recreating it from the STL file via the slicer.

It is amazing how many files you create once you get going. A CAD, an STL and a Gcode file for each printed item! 

 

I have just frighteend my self. I have no less than 5,101 CAD & STL files in 98 folders that occupy 303 Mb! Just as well I don't bother to keep the Gcode files as well.

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Which 3d cad design programmes are people being used? What is the experience both positive and the limitations.

 

I have just about come to terms with Thingiverse and transferring files into Cura. Personally I find it a bit clunky, in that it takes time to respond, and is does not appear to be consistant. Then again I find Windows ten rather unfriendly, when doing anything beyond using mainstream programmes. I find file handling not as accessible as the earliest versions.

One thing I find less than consistent is the sliced file, file that there does not appear to be any choice, which is either "D" drive or to downloads. I guess i am doing or not doing something?

 

I am merrily printing away at present from others designs.

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Erfolg

The 'Save to disk' in CURA brings up a window that shows all the drives available on your PC. You can then direct the file save to any folder you have created in any drive. It would be logical to save the Gcode file in the same place as its STL file preferably with a descriptive title so you can find it and have an idea of what it prints.? 

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Simon

This morning at the field i mentioned this issue with a number of other modelers, one of which is pretty uniquely positioned to know a thing or two about, well lets say IT, including computer modeling. It seems that in my case it could be the Laptop, in that the "D" drive is not showing up as available, it also seems that the issue is probably down to preferences setting in the machine. This particular issue is no longer a cause of any frustration, in that I now know if after slicing, if I put my USB?SD plug into the drive it automatically switches from, the Download file, to the "D" port. To my mind the lack of options as to where to save the "G" file is not available, with my current settings.

 

As for printing, I have now printed a number of items from "Thingiverse", with no real issues.

 

The images below show a completed set of prints for a dummy engine and a partial set which i have for the moment abandend, as being to large for any practical use by me.

 

I know feel confident enough to down load some 3d modeling software onto my PC (the monitor.screen is much bigger than my Laptop. I have asked about with those I know , who have both far more experience and knowledge than me. Most are using Fusion as it is used in there organisations and apparently is available for free by amataurs. As they are in the club I can bore them with my problems.

 

I do like feed back from all of you, it both reassures, educates and is just nice to communicate with you all.

 

 

WP_20210829_17_25_01_Pro.jpg

WP_20210829_17_26_40_Pro.jpg

WP_20210829_17_27_01_Pro.jpg

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