“My First Prints” is a series of step-by-step guides to get you comfortable with your MOD-t and 3D printing. In this first print, you’ll learn about the basics of 3D printing on the MOD-t with the King Tiki print from the New Matter Store. This is the perfect print for learning about printing from the store, fused filament fabrication, and build envelope.

Printing from the Store –

1. Go to the King Tiki design page on the New Matter Store. You can either find King Tiki, or you can click here.


2. Add King Tiki to your library.

3. Either click the hot pink “Print” button on the design page that appears where “Add to Libary” was, or visit your library. If you go to your library, you can click on the three dots in the upper right hand corner of the King Tiki image and select “Send to Printer.”


4. Click the hot pink “Print” button.

While King Tiki is Printing…

Watching this little decorative statue print is a great way to learn about some of the basics of 3D printing.

Fused Filament Fabrication – The MOD-t uses Fused Filament Fabrication to print. This means your machine lays melted lines of PLA filament down layer by layer until your piece is complete. Watch your MOD-t as it prints. You can see the first layer clearly covering parts of the build plate. After that, the MOD-t will lay layers on top of the filament that’s already down. When you go to print a model, think about the layers and how they would need to put down. Subtle angles, bridges, curves, and overhangs will print, but keep in mind that the MOD-t cannot lay down a layer in mid-air. While some 3D models might look great on your computer screen, they won’t print well.

Notice how the King Tiki print builds up. It's made of several PLA layers.
King Tiki is made of several PLA layers with little overhang.

Build Envelope – As your MOD-t puts down the first layer of your King Tiki, pay attention to the size of your print. You’ll notice that it is small enough to fit on the build plate, but big enough the the hole on the back fits a nail. It’s also big enough for the details that will appear as your print continues building. The MOD-t’s build envelope is 150 x 100 x 125 mm (6 x 4 x 5 inches). Keep this in mind when you’re perusing designs on Thingiverse or other file-sharing sites. You might find models that are designed for larger printers. These will need to be re-sized. You’ll learn more about this process when you upload the Spheroid.

You can learn more about the basics of 3D printing by checking out this 3D Printing 101 post and this post about ensuring print success. 

The next print in this series will teach you about supports, when to use them, and how to add them to a print. Click here to start learning!

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