Last updated: Aug 08, 2022

Exporting your mesh

Check your units

Before exporting your object, be sure your modeler of choice is working in millimeters.

In Rhino, type Units in the command line and hit [Enter]. Select Millimiters from the Model units dropdown menu. Then click the OK button. If you are prompted to allow Rhino to scale your object, select Yes.

In Sketchup, select from the menu bar Window -> Model Info and select Units in the window that comes up. Be sure to reset the Precision to nothing higher than 0.00mm

In Maya select Window -> Settings/Preferences -> Preferences from the main menu. Then select Settings from Categories on the left hand side and change the Working Units to millimeters. Then click Save.

In AutoCAD click on the A icon in the top left corner, then go to Drawing Utilities and select Units. Select Millimeters from the dropdown under Insertion Scale. Then hit OK.

Check the size of your object again after adjusting your units. Your object should fit within the build volume for the device you want to print on. The Ultimaker’s build volume is, 8.25" x 8.25" x 8" or 210mm x 210mm x 205mm. The Ultimaker extended’s build area is the same, but its height is 12" or 305mm.

NOTE: Submitting a part larger than the build volume can result in damage to the printer, and will absolutely result in a bad part.

Export your model as an STL (stereolithography) file. If exporting from Sketchup, export as an OBJ (Wavefront Object) file, open the resulting file in Rhino or Maya, then re-export it as an STL for the next step.

Uploading your mesh to 3dPrinterOS

Log in to using the SSO option. Search for Yale and click on Yale University in the dropdown menu to be redirected to CAS to login with your Yale NetID and password.

Click on the Add Files button to browse through your computer to the STL file you exported in the previous step, or drag your STL file into the upload window.

NOTE: If you want to keep several parts together as a single project in 3dPrinterOS, click on the three-dot menu button next to Add Files and chose the Create Project option. Give the project a name, then drag files into the upload window. All files uploaded this way will stay in that specific project folder in 3dPrinterOS.

When your STL files are finished uploading, click on the Save and go to My Files button.

Slicing your mesh

By default you’ll be directed to the Files page. In either the Files or Projects tabs, find the mesh file you just uploaded. Recently uploaded files or projects should appear at the top of your page. Click on the Slice button to the right of your file.
  1. Select either the Ultimaker 2 or Ultimaker 2 extended printer type.

  2. Select your slicing profile, Normal, High, or Draft. Normal is best for most prints. Draft will print in ~75% the time that Normal will with less definition in the Z-axis, and is good for simple extrusions. High will take ~3x as long as Normal and is good for parts that need to be especially strong, or have highly detailed/smooth curvature through the Z-axis.

  3. If your object has overhangs greater than 1 mm or floating components, check the box next to Supports. Be sure to check your toolpath after slicing to make sure your supports generated correctly. Sometimes, parts will not have a large enough area to generate supports under them, or will not generate in the grid that supports normally do.

  4. Click on Slice & Toolath Preview to see a preview of the printing process. This is a good opportunity to see if the slicer has interpretted your geometry as you intended it to be built. If something looks incorrect, reach out to the AT office staff for help.

NOTE: Leave the Build Plate Adhesion method set as Brim, which will help keep parts attached to the build plate. If you have a part with a large, flat bottom, and need to be able to print slightly beyond the X-Y bounds of the machine, you can set this to None to increase your build area to 225mm x 225mm. This is not recommended.

Do not change the temperatures, layer or shell thicknesses, or the infill percentages unless you are sure of the consequences with your part. These are calibrated and tested to work together for most prints. Changing these values can preclude you from reimbursement for failed prints.

You should see a pink brim around all the parts of your print that touch the buildplate. If you do not, then whatever portions of your model don’t have a brim around them are currently floating above the buildplate, even if it is just by a small amount. See the preparing a model for 3d printing tutorial for help with this issue.
If you move the slider on the right ride of the Toolpath Viewer, you can adjust the clipping planes for the toolpath, showing you only the portions of the toolpath between the endpoints of the orange line. You will be able to see the support, if any was generated, and the infill (usually shown in orange). This is an ideal way to check on how your model geometry was interpreted by the slicer and whether or not you need to make any adjustments. If everything looks correct at this point, exit the Toolpath Viewer by clicking on the X icon in the top right corner of the window.

Sending your 3d print to the Queue

After your model has been sliced a new GCODE file with the same name as your STL will appear in the same project at the mesh. Check to make sure that the print time and cost are reasonable. Extremely small or large costs can suggest that something went wrong with slicing, or that there is a problem with the mesh. Once you’ve checked your toolpath, click on the Print button to the right of your newly generated GCODE file.

Depending on the type of printer you selected you can send your file to either the Ultimaker 2 or the Ultimaker 2 Extended queue. Click on the Queue button to send it to that printer type’s queue. You will then see a message showing you the price again for your print, and reminding you of our 3d printing policies.

If you go to the Printers tab in 3dPrinterOS, you will see your print as long as it is in the queue. When your print is moved to a physical printer, it will no longer be visible. This is not an automatic process. Your print will be started when a AT staff member has had a chance to review your toolpath and find an available printer. You should receive an email when the print is started. You’ll receive another email when the print finishes.