The interface of the New Matter 3D printing ecosystem is clean and intuitive. There’s only one button on the MOD-t and printing designs from the New Matter Store is simple. Still, there are a few clever hacks to help you make the most of your MOD-t. Prepare to have your mind blown.
1. You can send, monitor, and pause prints to your MOD-t from any web browser on any device using the New Matter Store.
Once your MOD-t is connected to both WiFi and your New Matter Store account, you can check on the status of prints through your print queue. Your printer page will tell you how much of a print is complete or if your print is paused. You can also pause a print remotely using this page by clicking on the pause button next to the image viewer.
Of course, you can use the New Matter Store remotely to do what your MOD-t does best: print! Send a print to your MOD-t from anywhere with the New Matter Store. Just make sure you have somebody near your MOD-t to push the fast-blinking button to start your print!
2. You can switch filament colors mid-print.
Create two-tone, three-tone, or four-tone masterpieces using the MOD-t. Changing filament colors mid-print is similar to changing filament after a filament snap. Pause your print by pushing the front button on your MOD-t or by clicking the pause button next to the item image in your print queue. After about 8 seconds, the carriage will rise and the button will start flashing quickly. If the extrusion nozzle leaves behind any trace filament on your print, carefully brush it away. Place a piece of paper over your print. Unload the filament, select a new color, and load this filament into the MOD-t. Your MOD-t will still extrude a few inches of filament once you’ve successfully loaded the new color. It should only touch the piece of paper over your print. Push the front button on your MOD-t to tell your printer that you’ve successfully loaded filament. Take care to clear this extra filament from the extruder and remove the piece of paper from your print. Resume printing by pushing the front button of the MOD-t once more or by clicking the play button next to the item image in your print queue.
3. You can print .gcode files through the desktop app
If you want to adjust settings even more, you can use a slicing program, like Cura, to adjust infill, wall thickness, brim presence, and more. Save your model as a .gcode file (also known as a “toolpath”) and it will create code that will instruct your MOD-t to take heed of your alterations. You can print this specialized .gcode through the New Matter desktop app. Open the New Matter Desktop App that you downloaded during setup. From the main page, click on “Settings” and then “Advanced Mode.” Your app will prompt you to load your .gcode file and then your MOD-t will load and print just like it would a New Matter Store design or an .stl upload. (You can get Cura profile information and learn how to use Cura with the MOD-t here. Learn more about formatting models for the MOD-t here.)
4. Print settings are adjustable through the New Matter Store.
We’ve carefully tested the designs in the New Matter Store and have determined which of our prints need supports. We’ve set those designs, such as the Hatched Egg Organizer, to default the “Supports On” setting so you don’t have to worry about the print successfully completing. For most of our prints, however, supports are not needed and are defaulted off. For user-uploaded content, supports are defaulted on. You can change the supports setting of your print by clicking on the tool icon next to the Printer Select dropdown.
You can change the supports setting using the On/Off toggle shown above. You can also adjust the print quality. Both self-uploaded designs and store content will default to the “Better” setting. Changing the print quality will, of course, affect the quality and resolution of your print, but it will also affect print time. “Good” prints will take slightly less time. “Best” prints will take slightly more time. “Good” prints have 400 micron layers, “Better” prints have 200 micron layers, and “Best” prints have 100 micron layers.
5. Your MOD-t tells you when it’s calibrated and homed correctly.
The MOD-t calibrates and homes before every print job begins. You’ll notice the pinion rods in the build tray whirring, the build plate moving, and the carriage moving up and down. Because the build plate is removed from the build tray after every print, your MOD-t has to go through this process to move the plate into the best position for printing. You can monitor your MOD-t’s calibration and homing accuracy by carefully watching two steps of this process. First, your printer will lay down a cleaning strip to clear off extra filament from the extrusion nozzle. A sure sign of proper homing is a well-applied strip that is not easy to remove, but does not leave an indentation on the build plate. To check calibration, watch as the MOD-t’s carriage moves up and down. The extrusion nozzle will lightly tap the build plate, touching the middle last. The carriage will then rise up. If a string of filament the size of spider webbing remains, your MOD-t is calibrated and your print will start shortly.
6. The gear on the back of the carriage does something!
You may have noticed a small, flat gear protruding from the rear of the MOD-t’s carriage. This gear controls the height of your carriage. You can rotate the gear to the right to lower the carriage and to the left to raise the carriage. Only use your finger to turn the gear! If you use a tool, you could cause irreparable damage to the gear.
You may want to raise the carriage if you accidentally pull the power supply cord and stop a print on a lower layer. That way, you can move the carriage to it’s original position, clear the build plate, and start fresh. You may want to lower the carriage if it’s all the way at the top of the Z-axis rod and you want to load filament. The MOD-t does not accept a filament feed unless the carriage is about half an inch to one inch below the top of the Z-axis rod.
7. You can cheat in a few millimeters of height.
If you find that a design you’ve uploaded is a hair too tall for the MOD-t, try removing the print surface plate and covering the metallic area of the build plate with blue painter’s tape. The black print surface plate is very thin, so this won’t save you too much room, but if your design is just over the cut, it’s worth a try! (Caution: We do not recommend printing on a bare build plate often as it is very important to keep the metallic area of the plate even and unmarred.)