How to use GrabCAD Print for P3/Origin One Printers

ANOTHER new technology (P3 DLP resin) comes to GrabCAD Print! This tutorial covers how to access the new Origin One printers in GrabCAD Print during the beta, how to deal with all the new materials P3 allows, and how to set up Origin One prints in Netfabb and send to the printer!

Also covered are some Design For Additive Manufacture (DFAM) tips on this new type of Stratasys printer!

  1. Step 1: ANOTHER new technology joins GrabCAD Print

    Hot on the heels of our previous technology announcement, I’m happy to announce ANOTHER new addition to the GrabCAD Print family- this time resin-based Programmable-Photo-Polymerization printing (P3) through our Stratasys Origin One line:


    Similar to resin-based competitors like Formlabs (SLA printing) and Carbon (DLS printing), the biggest draw of P3 printing (besides the speed, smoothness and low cost per part) is the ability to use almost ANY open-source resin you want, with the freedom to tune your own print settings, unlocking DENTAL and END-USE production possibilities:



    This opens up a huge range of possibilities. 

    In this tutorial, I’ll cover:

    • How to get GrabCAD Print set up for Origin P3 Printers
    • How to set up your Open Material Library (now that you can use ANY material you want)
    • How to GENERATE SUPPORTS on a CAD file in NetFabb, and send that GrabCAD Print
    • Common P3 DFAM and troubleshooting steps, to get you off on the right foot!


    Let’s get started. 

  2. Step 2: Getting your GrabCAD Print and Origin accounts Set Up

    The first step is downloading GrabCAD Print if you don’t already have it. Basic GrabCAD Print is always free to download, and the version that works with the Origin Printers during our beta process is 1.69 or higher.

    Download GrabCAD Print from https://grabcad.com/print, by clicking on the “Sign up for free” button:

    After you confirm your email, download GrabCAD Print from the same location:


    People could print on Origin One printers before, there are hundreds of them out in the field, but the change now is that you don’t need the Origin Web API to actually send files to the printer. Here’s the comparison: 



    Obviously, the ideal state would be to get rid of 3rd party support generation software like Netfabb entirely, and that’s coming, just later in the development process, not during the beta: 



    We’re working on the Ideal process, it will just be sometime AFTER the beta. (We’ll talk more about the beta workflow in a later section.)

    After installing and logging into GrabCAD Print, you also need to log into your Origin account under “GrabCAD… File… Preferences”. 

    These are two separate logins for now, but later they will be combined:

    Again, in later versions we will work to combine these into one log-in. Also, you should only have to log-in to Origin once at the start of the beta, unless you uninstall and reinstall GrabCAD Print.

    If you have any issues creating either of these logins, please contact print@grabcad.com.

    If you are new to GrabCAD Print, here is an excellent help article detailing how to sign-up and log-in to GrabCAD Print for the first time: https://help.grabcad.com/article/197-sign-up-download-and-install

    If you are not familiar with basic features of GrabCAD Print, see our quick tour here: https://help.grabcad.com/article/199-take-a-quick-tour

    Obviously from the pictures above, your GrabCAD Print must be connected to the internet to send trays to your Origin printers via the cloud. If that is an issue for your IT team, please have them contact us at print@grabcad.com as well, and we can provide details on our security safeguards. 

    You have successfully completed this section when you can choose Origin Templates in the lower right: 

    If either of these two fail:

    1.     Check that your computer is online

    2.     Check that your two logins are logged in

    3.     Check your GrabCAD Account in your lower left corner (you may have more than one GrabCAD Print account, make sure you are logged into the one associated with your Origin One printer.)



    If all that does not work in selecting your first template Origin One printer, contact print@grabcad.com

    But now, since we’ve got a blank template printer selected, and a vast range of new, exotic unexplored resin materials to play with, let’s talk about what an ‘Open Material Architecture’ really means.

  3. Step 3: How to Set Up your Open Material Library

    There are two types of users in GrabCAD Print for Origin: Standard Users and Open Material Library users. The differences are in the chart below: 



    You can see that Standard users operate like every other Stratasys FDM, PolyJet and SAF customer: they can print only in approved and tested Stratasys materials, with settings which we KNOW will work.  

    HOWEVER, if you are more on the experimental side, and you want to quickly print in new resins from any source, maybe before Stratasys has even looked at them, you will want the OML license and possibly a willingness to have some of your early test prints fail.  (They don’t call it ‘experimental’ for nothing!)


    Either way, to get into your new Materials Library, look for the new button on the left menu: 


    The first thing you’ll notice is that you have 32 materials just put into a “validated” category. Which isn’t super useful until you sort them


    While you can’t know about every material, you can know about the general CLASSES of materials and start to put them into certain categories, like the ones listed here: https://www.stratasys.com/en/3d-printers/printer-catalog/p3/origin-one-printer/



    And so you don’t have to do ALL the work, I’ve pulled some sample materials from each category to get you started, highlighting their main feature (and because I had to sort my OWN material library this way too):



    Again, you can’t know EVERY material out there, but the guide above should at least help you put new materials into similar SLOTS, and now you’ve at least HEARD of something like ‘ST45’ before. 

    That’s how I sorted my materials library, since I didn’t know any of the Origin materials before I started: 

    But you can’t just drag the original materials into folders to sort them. First you have to make a COPY

    And the new copy lands in “UNCATEGORIZED”:


    And then you just drag to your new folder (collection):


    Repeat for every material you wish to sort.

    You should at least separate the Elastomers from the Rigid. The Dental materials already come separated, but you could also separate them by USE (Crown vs. Splint) for extra poke-yoke.


    One good way to classify Origin Materials is to compare them to things you might already know, such as the Stratasys line of FDM materials. Here is one quick comparison, with notes afterwards: 


    Some things immediately stand out:



    • Origin mats are comparable to some FDM in terms of STRENGTH



    • NOTHING beats FDM Nylon12 Carbon fiber for STIFFNESS



    • But besides N12CF, Origin and FDM are comparable in stiffness



    • Origin and FDM are somewhat comparable for TOUGHNESS



    • There really is nothing like 3955 for HIGH TEMPERATURE environments



    • But other than the one standout (3955), Origin materials generally have lower HDTs than most FDM materials.  


    It's interesting to do cross-platform comparisons like that, to get a good 10,000 foot view of where things stand. (I recommend it for other technologies you use too!)

    But in general, the HIGH TEMP Origin materials are best in P3 for Strength, Stiffness and HDT, but poor at Toughness. (Which makes sense: things that are strong aren’t usually tough).   

    At this point we have to ask, what IS a material selection in Stratasys Origin One P3 printing? It’s not like the printer KNOWS what material is loaded into its tank- there’s no RFID chip on the resin like we have for FDM or PJ material cartridges!

    So if you look under the hood, all a P3 material IS in GrabCAD Print, is just a collection of SETTINGS on how long the projector should be on for each layer and what the temperatures should be, etc.: 

    In fact, OML users can change the settings PER LAYER, to even get a FINER tune on a new material they are experimenting with:


    In general, we suggest starting with the material supplier’s suggested settings, and if those don’t exist for the Origin One (or another DLP printer running a 5mW/cm^2), print an exposure tower and figure out your exposure settings.

    Settings can vary widely within a material category.

    And that’s the REAL power of the P3 system: having the freedom to choose your own Open Source material from anywhere, the ability to tune your settings however you want, and then saving those settings and sharing them around your entire organization to use on a fleet of printers.

    That’s the power of the Open Material License. 

    We’ll talk more about HOW to change your settings for certain print problems, later on in the troubleshooting section, but now that we have our materials sorted into groups, let’s look at the generic print workflow, with already approved settings. 

  4. Step 4: How to Set Up a Print with GrabCAD Print for Origin

    Remember that this is the general workflow we will be going through: 


    And here are the general things to watch out for in each section: 



    Let’s get started. 

    The Origin One printers exist in NetFabb, and choosing them on start-up will set the tray size for you, so you should see or choose something like this when opening NetFabb: 


    Importing CAD files into NetFabb automatically tessellates them to STL, just make sure you choose Extreme Accuracy, a lower resolution might cause faceting and problems down the line: 


    Next comes seeing where the support might go. Choose an orientation (usually with your most important face facing the platform), and hit the ‘Generate Supports’ button to see your unsupported faces (red): 

    Remember that any face you put supports on will have little bumps after support removal which will need to be sanded away (or just lived with). 

    You can change the orientation of the part to change where the red faces land, but in general, any overhang less than 30 degrees from horizontal need to be supported: 

    While Origin printers with the OML are all about experimentation, we don’t recommend you change the support angle away from its 30-degree default: 


    Contact P3.Support.US@Stratasys.com if you want help understanding what minimum angle setting to use with what material. 


    There are many ways to create supports in NetFabb, one of the most straightforward is simply to use ‘Bar supports’ by double clicking on the red faces: 


    Spacing for these supports will vary by material and geometry and your experience with previous similar prints, but in general, a bar support can only support about 2.5 mm out from either side, meaning you have to put supports every 5 mm or so on your red faces: 


    So one support strategy is to simply put bar supports every 5 mm on every red face, merge those supports with your model, and duplicate as needed: 







    That’s the whole process. 


    To recap what you are doing before saving out one big STL, it looks like this: 



    After you have your duplicated and supported models, you are ready to export to GrabCAD and Print: 

    After that, you just hit "Print" in GrabCAD Print to send the file over the cloud to the printer!


    There are many, many more ways to generate support in NetFabb besides simple bar supports, but they are out of scope of a beginners tutorial. You can find other Netfabb tutorials on Youtube such as this, or contact P3.Support.US@Stratasys.com if you want help understanding how to support a specifically troublesome geometry. 

    Let's look at the most common errors you might run into, and then we're done!









  5. Step 5: Troubleshooting Your P3 Prints

    Below are the most common issues when starting out with Origin:

     


    #1 and #2 we already saw how to fix in NetFabb, it’s just a matter of being very diligent when applying supports. (Auto-support Generation is on our roadmap, so that everything does not have to be done manually.) 

    #3 needs to be fixed in an earlier CAD stage, by creating vent holes in the model to allow air to fill in those volumes as they print, so vacuums are not formed. 

    About Under-Supported Models: remember those material classes we had at the beginning? Since tough materials and elastomers are also more flexible during printing, they also need different diameters of bar supports, for best chance of success: 



    You can see that the Rigid materials, High Temp, General Purpose and Medical can all use the same diameter of bar support, but Tough needs a little larger and Elastomer the largest of them all. 


    In general, supports should be: 

    • THICK ENOUGH to remain rigid AND prevent the model from moving during the entire printing, handling, and curing process
    • THIN ENOUGH to result in minimal artifact marks being left on faces of the model after supports are broken away
    • THICKER for taller parts (which need more support as they get taller and wobble more)
    • THICKER for heavier parts (same reason)
    • Highly dependent on GEOMETRY and MATERIAL and EXPOSURE SETTINGS. 


    As you can see, it’s quiet a balancing act, sometimes requiring a few rounds of trial and error. 

    If you find a spacing, diameter, and philosophy of support generation that works for your material and geometry, document it with images and measurements you can pass on to other engineers at your company, so the trial and error only has to be done once!

    Those are all issues with how the MODEL is manipulated. But how about all those OML MATERIAL SETTINGS way back in section 2? 

    When we talked about all the FREEDOM the OML allows you, that’s also the freedom to make mistakes! Here are the most common MATERIAL SETTINGS issues: 


    Those are the most common issues we see with material settings, but always, if you need more help tuning, let us know at P3.Support.US@Stratasys.com


    Thanks, and happy printing during the beta!



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