The Inventor IIS is our most highly recommended 3D printer for schools, and this article will show you the basic process of how it all works.

The first thing to do is create a design within Makers Empire. This can be done with any of the modules within Makers Empire

Once you or your students have created the 3D design, you will need to export it as an STL file. This is the geometric 3D file needed for the printing software, and is a universal 3D file. That means it will work with all 3D printers.

The next thing to do is to convert that STL file into instructions for the 3D printer. To do this you need to load the STL file into the printing software that came with your printer. For instance, the Inventor IIS 3D printer uses the 'Flashprint' software. 

After the STL file is loaded into the printing software, you can adjust it by scaling and rotating it, before going ahead and picking your printer settings. These settings affect things like the quality of the print, the strength of the print, and most importantly the length of time to complete the print. These should be pre-set in the printing software for you.

Next up, the printing software should give you an estimate of the printing time, and exactly how much printing filament it will use. Filament is the material the printer uses to create the designs. If you're happy with the estimates, you can go ahead and send the print to the printer.

The printer will them heat up to between 190 and 230 degrees (the melting temperature of the filament) and begin drawing the first layer out on the build platform. Once that's done, the print bed will move down slightly and it'll start drawing the second layer on top. It does this 10's, or 100's of times to build up the 3D object.

Once the final layer have been finished, the print is allowed to cool for a few minutes, and is then removed from the printer.

The last thing to do is to clean up the printed design. This is usually just removing any sort of raft or support material that may have printed with your design.

If you've got any other quesions about 3D printing or Makers Empire you can email us and we'll get back to you.

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