3D Printer Reprap Documentation
The documentation supplied with the reprap application is located at http://reprap.org/wiki/Mendel_User_Manual:_Host_Software. However, before reading this it is suggested that you consider the following clarifications:
Read "Extruder" as meaning "Extrusion Profile"
Each of the things defined in the Preferences that their documentation calls an "extruder" would be better thought of as being an "extrusion profile" which defines a named set of extrusion parameters. Although the preference settings are tied to the Extrusion Profile by the number embedded in the parameter name, everywhere else the Extrusion Profile is referenced by its name, which is set using the Extrudern_MaterialType parameter. Although this parameter refers to "material type" this really ends up just being the name for the Extrusion Profile. Extrusion Profile names are used in two places:
- Each Extrusion Profile optionally specifies two other Extrusion Profiles, both by name, to use for Infill and Support.
- When loading an STL object into the 3D viewer, you apparently get to select the "material", but what you are really doing is selecting the Extrusion Profile to use for the object. The settings in this Extrusion Profile determine how the shell of the object is extruded, and also specify Extrusion Profiles to use for infill and support.
You can't print from STL to the printer directly. You must always generate GCode, and it is easiest to treat the reprap application as being two distinct tools:
First, the Preferences, the "Load STL" and "Print" buttons on the Print tab of the Console window, and the 3D Viewer constitute a skeining tool. Using this you load STL objects, position them on the printer table, select Extrusion Profiles for them, and generate the GCode for them.
Second, the "Load GCode" and "Print" buttons on the Print tab of the Console window constitute a Print command. Using this you send a GCode file to the printer. The 3D View window is utterly irrelevant, and most of the Preferences are too.
In either usage, the other tabs of the Console window can be used to perform manual operations on the printer, and the Preferences button can be used to modify, load, and/or save preferences.
If you feel the need to play with the Preferences, you should save the default ones into a private set so you do not mess up the printer for other people. You should see our documentation on Preferences for details on what all these settings mean.
If you are not playing with Preferences, and have not been advised otherwise, you should ensure that you are using the Default preference set.