NOTE: These instructions are not compatible for newer versions of Flashprint (version 5.0 or higher).

NOTE: If you'd like a more in-depth look at the software, please go here:

Having installed the Flashprint software, after opening you'll be prompted to input the type of machine you have. In the drop down, select either 'Inventor II Series' or 'Guider II S' and click 'OK'

Flashprint is a three step process. At the top, in the centre you will see three buttons. 'Load', 'Supports' and 'Print'. These are the three basic steps to get your students work printed. This will sometimes involve manipulating the designs slightly, before sending them to print.

Step 1. 'Load' students work.

Begin by clicking on 'Load'. Then simply find the STL file of the desired design. 

Step 2. Adding Supports to the design.

Once you've got the design ready to go, the next step is to add supports. These are scaffolds that get built up around your design to hold up parts that may otherwise fall down or droop. Click on 'Supports' at the top of the screen and it will open the supports menu.

In the supports menu you can click 'Auto Supports' and it will automatically calculate them for you. Then simply click 'Back' to exit the menu. If it asks you to save at this point, click 'No'.

Step 3. Select the print settings.

Next you'll select the print settings. You'll notice a handful of options, but the default settings are perfect for most print jobs. I'll quickly explain the different options.

Material Type - The plastic that the filament is made of. For the Inventor IIS this should always be set to PLA
Supports - Whether or not you want the Supports from earlier to be used. If you 'Disable' this, it will stop printing the support and may damage the print.
Raft - The raft is a small platform that gets printed beneath objects. This is excellent for smaller designs (less than 10mm), as it allows designs with small amounts of surface area to stay stuck to the platform better.
Resolution - This is how good your print will look. The higher the resolution, the slower the print will be. The 'Hyper' setting is the absolute best quality that the printer can do.

Once you're happy with the settings, you can click 'OK' and Flashprint will process; or 'Slice' your design, ready for printing.

Next you'll see a preview of how your design is going to be printed. In the top right-hand corner you will find some info about the print. Firstly, it's Print Time, and the amount of filament you will use. NOTE: If you'd like this measurement in grams instead of metres, you can click on 'Weight Estimation'.

On the left-hand side of the screen you will see a sliding bar. You can use this to look, layer-by-layer at how the print is going to be built. Very interesting and convenient for students to learn about how it works.

Step 4. Transferring the print file to your 3D printer.

There are two reliable ways of transferring your print file to the printer:

1. USB Stick

Click 'Export Gcode' and save the file directly onto to your USB stick.

Then plug your USB into the right-hand-side of the printer and tap 'Build' on-screen. Then tap 'USB Storage' and search for your printing file. Select the file, and tap 'Build' and the printer will begin.

2. USB Cable

Firstly, ensure the printer is plugged into your computer via the USB cable. Then click on 'Print' in the very top-left of Flashprint, and click 'Connect Machine'. This will bring up the connection options, and you'll need to choose 'Automatic' from the drop-down menu. 

In the menu you should have a 'USB: FlashForge InventorII Series 3D Printer'. If not, you can click on 'Rescan' to search again for the connected printer. Once you've found the connected printer, click on it and then click 'Connect'. Then click 'Done'.

Now that you're connected, all you need to do is click on 'Send Gcode', and Flashprint will send the entire print job to the printer, and it should begin once it warms up. NOTE: It is best practice to watch the first layer or two of each print, to ensure they are working correctly.

If you would like to disconnect your computer after sending the print, you may do so by going back in the top-left 'Print' menu, and clicking on 'Disconnect All Connection'. Similar to safely ejecting a USB stick from a computer, it's best to disconnect the printer before you remove the USB cable.

Now you can move onto the next section! Removing your print once it's finished!

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Tags: Software , Print , Printing , Send , stl , file , flashprint , flash print , flashforge , inventor IIS , 2s ,

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