3D Print Questions
What software is needed if I purchase the 3D Printer attachment?
You do not need any additional software. The 3D Printer attachment comes with Repetier Host slicing software to create the GCode for the the 3D print files. That file is then run in UCCNC which comes with the STEPCRAFT CNC machine.
What is the maximum project height I can 3D print?
The maximum print height is as follows:
STEPCRAFT 420, 600 and 840 – 120mm (4.72″)
STEPCRAFT 300 – 92mm (3.62″)
If you are using the STEPCRAFT Heated Bed, then you need to subtract 17mm (.67″) from the total print height.
Does the Laser DL445 use the same port on the STEPCRAFT as the 3D Printer and HF500 spindle?
Yes, they both use the same serial port on the back of the machine. You would need to disconnect the cable and reconnect the attachment that you wish to use. STEPCRAFT also offers a Switchbox which allows you to connect everything and simply turn the dial to select the attachment you wish to use. This is very handy if you are constantly changing attachments.
Do I need to buy additional software if I am only buying the Machine and 3D Printer attachment?
No, since UCCNC is included with the machine to run the G Code and the 3D Printer attachment comes with Repetier-Host slicing software. Those two programs are all you need if you are just going to use your STEPCRAFT CNC for 3D printing. If you are going to use the machine for cutting (spindle, laser, drag knife, etc.) then you need to have a CAM software program as well.
Can I use a 3D scanner to create 3D models to carve as well as 3D print?
Yes, models created with a 3D Scanner are typically saved in common 3D formats like a .stl. These files can be imported into CAM programs like Vectric Cut 3D, Vectric V Carve and Deskproto where they can be assigned tool paths to carve the object out of a material. This is commonly done with two tool paths: Roughing and Finishing, using a standard end mill and a ball nose end mill, respectively.
These files created from a 3D scanner can also be used for a 3D printer.
Here is a good article with a list of the best 3D scanners for 2017: https://pinshape.com/blog/the-11-best-3d-scanners-on-the-market/
STEPCRAFT also has a 3D Touch Probe which can be used for 3D scanning. The following videos show how that works:
Can I connect my HF500 spindle and 3D printer to the STEPCRAFT at the same time?
Yes you can with the use of the of the STEPCRAFT System Attachment Switch Box. To use the Switch Box, you simply plug a serial cable from the Switch Box to the serial port on the CNC and then you plug the 3D Printer and the HF500 Spindle into the respective ports on the back of the box. Then you can just rotate the dial to select the attachment that you would like to use and mount that attachment into the tool holder on the STEPCRAFT.
Are there any specific 3D Scanners that work best with STEPCRAFT, or any other CNC?
Honestly, No. Most 3D scanners are capable of generating and saving files in common 3D file format. That is really all that is required for STEPCRAFT. The resolution will vary, though, from scanner to scanner and typically the more expensive they are, the better the scan resolution:
Here is a good article with a list of the top 11 3D scanners for 2017: https://pinshape.com/blog/the-11-best-3d-scanners-on-the-market/