What software is the best to use?
In general the process goes like this:
1. Create or download a model (usually a .stl file). You can download models from many sites, including youmagine.com and thingiverse.com. You can create a model using software like Blendr, SketchUp, or many others.
2. Position the model on a virtual printer bed and slice it. This is what Slic3r or Cura or Repetier or Simplify3D (among others) are for. These “slicers” generate the GCode that the printer actually uses to print the object. Some software only slices (Slic3r), other slice and control the printer (Repetier, Cura, Simplify3D). You can slice with one program and send it to the printer with another if you want. I use Simplify3D to slice and even though it can control my printer directly I don’t use it to do that – instead I use OctoPrint running on a Raspberry Pi to actually control the printer and print the objects (so I don’t need to leave my computer connected and running all the time.)
3. Send the output of the slicer (the Gcode file generated by the slicer program) to the printer. This can be done by putting it on an SD card and inserting into the printer (if it supports that), or by sending the GCode to the printer directly using software like Repetier, OctoPrint, Simplify3D, Cura, and others.
Personally, I find Cura is the easiest one to use. The only downfall is it only have one type of infill pattern, square. Be careful when you place object and click ‘Layer’ to see how the infill is arranged before you hit print. For example, a tall slender object, you might want to move around a bit to have the support located in the center of the shaft or else the shaft might be printed without any support at all.
Left: the shaft located at the empty space, so there will be no infill support in the shaft
Right: object is moved so that the cross of infill structure is in the middle therefore shaft will have infill support when printed.
How to print with SD card? (export from Cura)
If you don’t want to hook your computer with the printer at all time, print with SD card is your option.
- Save the gcode file in an SD card from Cura (from your computer)
- Put an SD card into your printer
- Plug your printer to power
*If you plug your printer to power first before putting an SD card in, the print will not start autometically.
See in detail with picture step by step on how to do so : https://printrbot.dozuki.com/Guide/How+to+Auto-Start+a+Print+with+an+SD+Card+using+Cura/201
Advanced setting on how to print Fast / High quality.
Basic rule is ‘ Slower = Higher Quality’.
Slower in this case means lower speed, thinner layer height.