9 Simple Steps for Setting Up Your Printrbot Simple

These are the steps we follow in our 3D Printing for Educators workshop. This is certainly not the only way to setup your Printrbot Simple, but it is our recommended process for educators. Following these steps as outlined will help you setup your printer and ensure you don’t miss any steps.

[box]Printrbot’s Guides: If you want to see Printrbot’s official guides for the Printrbot Metal Simple, visit here:  http://printrbot.com/project/simple-metal/ Otherwise, you can see the guides I’ve put together below.[/box]


Step 1: Install Software

Now you’ll want to install some printer control software.  There are a few different options, but installing MatterControl is a good place to begin.

[box]Info: Windows Drivers: If you are using a version of Windows before 8.1, you will need to install this driver. Mac and Linux users do not need to do this.[/box]


Step 2: Get Some Caffeine

Not for you, but for the computer connected to your printer.  If your computer goes to sleep during a print, the print will stop and you won’t be able to resume it.  Try one of these software tools to keep your computer awake while printing:


Step 3: Unpack your printer

This is pretty self explanatory.  Pull your printer out of the box and unwrap it.  Don’t forget to cut the zip tie on the back of the printer.


Step 4: Install BuildTak

Now, you’ll want to install BuildTak if you have it.  This is a great material to put on your printer bed instead of blue tape.


Step 5: Add Your Printer

Plug the power into your printer and the USB cord into your printer. Do NOT plug the USB cord into your computer just yet. In MatterControl, use the File menu in MatterControl to add your printer (File -> Add Printer).  Follow the directions and connect the USB cord when it tells you.

Step 6: Install Settings File

  1. Download the settings file: No Support Settings (v1.7)
    1. This will provide some default settings that should work with most designs.
  2. Install the file by going to the “Settings” panel
  3. Choose “Options” -> “Import” and then find the settings file you just downloaded.

MatterControl Settings Files


Step 7: Print Your First Print

Your first print should be a calibration cube that makes sure everything is moving the right way and to help you setup your printer probe. If your printer head scrapes or digs into the bed, immediately unplug it and skip down to the next step: Calibrate Printer Probe

20x20x3 Calibration Cube


Step 8: Calibrate Printer Probe

Follow the directions on how to setup your printer probe.


Step 9: Print Fan Shroud

Now you should print and attach a fan shroud.