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A Step-by-Step Guide to Starting Your First Print Job with Eiger

A Step-by-Step Guide to Starting Your First Print Job with Eiger

Introduction

If you’ve just gotten your hands on a Markforged printer and are eager to start your first print job, look no further. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the entire process using Eiger, Markforged‘s slicing software. Whether you’re using the online or offline version, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive in! 

Getting Started

Before we begin, make sure you have your Eiger organization set up  and your printer unboxed, calibrated, and loaded with materials. With everything in place, you’re ready to kickstart your 3D printing journey. 

Exporting Your CAD Design

The first step is to export your CAD design into Eiger’s accepted format, which is STL. This is a universal process across all CAD programs. If you’re using SOLIDWORKS, we’ve provided a visual guide to help you through the process in the video. Remember to open the Options window in the File Save dialog to fine-tune the tessellation settings for a better model resolution. However, keep in mind that higher resolution results in larger file sizes, so strive to keep your STL files below 20 megabytes. 

Uploading to Eiger

Once your design is successfully exported as an STL file, it’s time to upload it to Eiger. Whether you’re using online Eiger or offline Eiger, the process is quite similar. Through your internet browser, preferably Google Chrome, access your Eiger library where your files and folders are stored. Click on “Import STL” in the upper right corner and select your STL file. You can choose a specific destination folder or save it to the library root. By selecting a model face, you can position it on the build platform.  

Adjusting Print Settings

Eiger offers several options to customize your print settings. In the “General” section, you can choose the printing materials, base, reinforcement, and even your printer type. “Settings” allow you to adjust the layer height, with smaller heights resulting in better surface finish but longer print times. If your part is geometrically simple, don’t hesitate to raise the layer height. Additionally, you can rotate the model or change the units to Imperial if your part isn’t appearing on screen. 

Fine-tuning with Infill

Infill is where you determine the internal lattice structure and density of your part. Eiger provides four options – Fill Pattern, Fill Density, Roof and Floor Layers, and Wall Layers. These values are optimized by Markforged to ensure optimal printing results. In most cases, it’s recommended to keep the defaults but feel free to experiment and take advantage of the ancillary toggles at the bottom of the screen. 

Saving and Analyzing Part Details

Once you’re satisfied with your settings, click “Save” to store all the details. On the left side of the screen, the Part Details pane will provide you with useful information such as print time and material cost. This is invaluable when determining the best time to start a print job and comparing costs against other manufacturing methods. 

Examining the X Ray View

To dive deeper into your design, Eiger offers an X Ray View. Here, you can analyze the material pathing on each layer, check support material placement, and the routing of fiber reinforcement. By switching to 2D mode, you can cycle through the layers using the timeline at the bottom. Overrides can also be applied to add or remove supports, insert fiber, or create print pauses for embedded hardware applications. Always take a moment to check the X Ray View to ensure all elements are in order. 

Additional Resources at Markforged University

While this guide covers the basics of starting your first print job with Eiger, there’s so much more to explore. To deepen your understanding of fiber placement strategies and support removal techniques, Markforged University offers comprehensive online courses. These courses cover a wide range of topics and consolidate years of information into easily accessible modules. 

Printing Your Design

With all the settings and details carefully adjusted, it’s time to get your design ready for printing. Whether you’re using online Eiger or offline Eiger, the process is straightforward. In online Eiger, simply select your printer from the drop-down menu and choose to add the job to the print queue or print it immediately. For offline Eiger, you have the option to export the build as an encrypted .mfp file and print it via a FAT32 formatted USB flash drive.  

Conclusion

From exporting your design to analyzing the X Ray View, Eiger makes the entire process seamless and user-friendly. Remember to take advantage of Markforged University and its valuable resources to expand your knowledge further. Now, with the foundations laid, you’re ready to bring your 3D printing ideas to life. Happy printing! 

Technical Support

Get help from our team by Calling us at 800-364-1652 x 4. You can also get assistance by clicking the Technical Support button or the Email Our Experts button below. 

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