January 20

How to 3D Print a file from Thingiverse

Here’s a quick, basic step by step on how to use a Thingiverse or other 3D Print file websites with your Tinkerine 3D Printer. Check out Tinkerine U for more advanced tutorials and lesson plans. There are other ways of doing this but this one works for me.


 Download Tinkerine Suite software onto your laptop or PC. If you are using a School District computer you will need put in a request to have the program installed. This is called ‘Slicing Software’. Slicing takes a 3D drawing and translates the model into individual layers. It generates the code that the printer will use for printing. You will also need a Memory Card (like from a camera) and a Memory Card Reader. Any brand of this:Select your simple design from the 3D file website. Here’s a pencil holder that turned out well for us. When selecting, take a look at how many times it has been successfully made and check out the comments.

Click on the Thing Files tab. Rather than ‘Download All Files’, look at the list and click on the one you want. You need the file name with .stl at the end. Some designs have multiple pieces. You can choose to download them all at once or individually. Downloading all at once can create a very full printer bed (the plate where the printer actually prints the model). If you are new to printing, try one piece first – the level of the bed may need to be adjusted in height. It has to be just right.The .stl file will show up in your downloads folder. Open up the Tinkerine Suite software. Import the .stl file using the plus sign at the top or drag in the file from Downloads.

You can click and drag on the circular lines to move your model around and see it from all angels. If you do this, click Lay Flat  on the bottom right so that the model is flat on the bottom of the grid. The models are not printed as a solid. That would take way too long to print and is not necessary as the material is very strong. Choose sparse, dense or hollow density. Depending on the design, hollow may fall in on itself as it prints. Go with sparse. Choose high, medium or low resolution. Medium or low is fine. Use level 2  for the wall – the thickness of the shell. For a simple model the supports are turned off. If you have a model with an overhanging piece you can print little strings of supports that hold the part up during printing. These are then broken off or sanded down after the print as they are not part of the model.

Notice how this model is gray. It is too big for the print bed. Adjust the size using the Scale on the bottom. It will turn green when it is scaled down to fit. Clicking outside of the model will hide the tools.

Click Slice in the top right corner. The print time will display on the bottom left. Insert your memory card into your computer. Click Save For Print.

Save it to the Sd Memory Card. You can then use this card in the reader slot on your 3D Printer and you are ready to print.


Copyright © 2017. Anna Crosland. All rights reserved.

Posted January 20, 2017 by acrosland in category 3D Printer

About the Author

Anna Crosland, Teacher-Librarian in B.C. Canada: Focus on Personal and Social Core Competencies, Layering Authentic Indigenous Resources into the Curriculum, MakerEd and Digital Creation, Inclusiveness, Empowerment, Diversity and lots of Reading