Printing with Cura

The current preferred way to print on Lulzbot printers is to use the latest Cura Lulzbot edition for the Mini's and Taz 6. for the Taz 3 with flexible filament flexystruder, use Version 21.08.

This can be installed and run from your own laptop (installer linked above) or use one of the space laptops. If in doubt, the space laptops will always be running versions of cura compatible with space 3D Printers.

Setting up Cura

On loading Cura, select the correct printer model (e.g. Lulzbot mini) from the Machine menu. If your desired printer is not listed you may need to add it. See Adding a printer to Cura Select your desired material from the presets on the left (if you can't see material presets, you may be in expert mode. Use the menu item to switch out of expert mode) For PLA, eSUN presets cover the vast majority of PLA in stock at the space and can be found under Beginner > PLA (eSUN) ABS is under the Intermediate section.

Flexible Material
Coming Soon! the flexystruder mini is currently being comissioned after donation from James

The checkerboard area in the main window represents the build plate of the printer. If there is something on it when you start cura (maybe a Roctopus!) simply click on it and delete it.

load your model in STL format from either the File menu or Load Model button. your STL will be placed on the build plate. You can position the model as you see fit, there may be defects on the build surface that you'd rather not print over or you might want to add additional parts to the plate. as well as positioning, you can rotate, duplicate and re-size your model.

When you are satisfied with your arrangement, your next step depends on the printer.

Taz 3
Export GCode and place on SDCard
Export GCode and upload to Octoprint
Taz 6
Export GCode and place on SDCard
Export GCode and upload to Octoprint
Direct Connection
Export GCode and upload to Octoprint
Direct Connection

Direct Connection

Connect the computer to the USB port of the printer and make sure the printer is powered on. The button next to Load Model should change to Control. Clicking it will bring up the printer's print control panel. At this point the GCode has been generated and prepared for printing. any changes made to the layout WILL NOT reflect in the print without closing the control box and clicking control again.

If you hear a brief woosh of fans coming from the printer, then connection was successful and ready to print.

Export GCode

If you are not directly connecting the computer, the SDCard equipped TAZ's and Octoprint use a .GCode file generated by Cura and can then be left standalone. The button next to Load Model should say Export GCode and pressing it will create a .gcode file and save it where the model was located. If you have an SDCard inserted, it will auto save it on that ready for printing.

Upload to Octoprint

Printing with Octoprint

Load SDCard on TAZ's

with the Taz powered on, insert the SDCard into the slot by the LCD display. from the status screen, press the jog dial to enter the menu. use the dial to scroll through the menu, pressing the dial to select, and go down to Print From SDCard then navigate the SDCard directories to find your .gcode file. Press the dial to select and start printing.

********* BEFORE YOU START PRINTING ***********

Run through the 3D Printing Checklist to prevent damage to the printers, printing surfaces and minimize failed prints


The printer will take a minute or two to heat up the nozzle and build plate. This is normal. The Taz 6 and the minis are self levelling and the printer goes through a routine to detect it's level at the start of every print.
It's important to observe this levelling procedure as damage can occour to the print bed under certain circumstances: The printer will wipe the nozzle on a cleaning pad on one side of the build plate. This is to clear any excess plastic around the nozzle. The print head will then tap the nozzle on the metal clamp on each corner LIGHTLY If the nozzle appears to push so hard that the build plate gets pressed down, this means the nozzle wasn't clean, and wasn't able to properly detect the level of the bed. IF THIS HAPPENS THE NOZZLE WILL HIT THE BED WHEN PRINTING STARTS. RESULTING IN EITHER DAMAGE TO THE TOP SURFACE OR THE GLASS BED ITSELF If levelling is unsuccessful, then cancel the print, manually clean the nozzle tip and start the print again.

Once the nozzle and bed are fully up to temperature, printing will begin. It's recommended to always watch the first few layers to make sure that filament is coming out and it's adhering to the bed properly. Let the print run and it's progress will be displayed in the cura control panel, on the LCD screen or on the octoprint control panel. Once the print is finished the printer will cool the build plate and push the plate forward when it's ready to remove from the plate. This is due to adhesion as attempting to remove the piece before it's cooled can result in the build surface being pulled up and/or ripped.

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