FAQ: Operating the F400 3D Printer
What are the steps to print my CAD file on the F400?
The workflow for printing with a F400 is very simple.
- Export your CAD file to your hard drive in .STL or .OBJ format
- Open that file using the supplied Simplify3D slicer software
- In Simplify3D, import your file and align it on the print bed to the optimal placement (usually to minimize the amount of support structures)
- In Simplify3D, select the F400 Printer Material Profile for the material you wish to print
- Select ‘Prepare to print’ and save the file to your hard drive
- Copy that file onto your F400, either onto the SD card or via web browser to the F400’s onboard storage
- Prepare the print bed with adhesive
- Load your filament into the printer
- From the printer control panel or web interface, start your print
What do I need to do to prepare the printer for each print?
You’ll occasionally check to ensure the bed is level, clean the bed using water and a paper towel and then apply adhesive to the heated print bed.
What adhesive do you recommend to help the prints stick to the bed?
We recommend that our customers use Elmer’s or Avery purple glue stick, applied directly to the glass print bed. We’ve tested many options and this is the best. It’s also readily available and inexpensive. Several tubes are included with your printer.
What’s the speed of the first layer and what does it speed up to after that?
The first layer is printed at 1/2 of the normal print speed. Note that the quality of the first layer is very important to the quality of the print. The first layer needs to adhere well to the print bed and be smooth and even. The slower speed ensures that this layer is good. After the first layer, the F400 will automatically speed up to the selected print speed.
What is the turnaround time from when a part finishes to starting the next print?
The turnaround time, assuming you are using the same filament spool, is 2-10 minutes depending on the material. For higher temperature materials, such as ABS, most of this time is for letting the bed to cool down so the parts self-release.