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Tools at the Asylum
Open Edge 3D Printer
3D Printer

General Info
MakeOpen Edge
ModelAlto 333
Mfr. Specs
Training (experimental section)
Tool Species3D Printers
(Includes rubric, training information, and testing information.)
Asylum Info
LocationDigital Fabrication
OwnerWendy Richardson
Operational Status
Latest Status
QR Code
[3D Printers, Digital Fabrication, Tools]

This is a French 3D Printer that was donated to the Artisan’s Asylum. It uses PLA 1.75 filament. Please do not use any other kind of filament in this printer without prior permission. If something is not working right, please submit a maintenance/trouble ticket. Use caution: Try not to damage the kapton tape when you remove your print from the print bed.

There is more than one way to use this printer. These instructions are for using Slic3r and Pronterface. You need your own computer with Slic3r and Pronterface installed. And you need a .stl file that you’ll convert to a .gcode file to print.

Start with an .stl file for printing.


Open Slic3r, click “Add…” and select your .stl file. You should see what your model looks like on the viewer. Select the “Print Settings” tab and review/make changes. These are some good values to start with:

 .3mm layer height 
 .3 mm first layer height
 2 perimeter shells
 top 3 and bottom 2 solid layers

Select the “Filament Settings” tab and review/make changes. These are some good values to start with:

 1.75mm diameter
 1 extrusion multiplier
 190 degrees celsius first and other layers for extruder temperature
 65 degrees celsius for first and other layers for bed temperature

When you feel you have the right settings, go back to the “Plater” tab. Click on the “Export G-code” button and save your file to your computer.

Turn on printer. The power switch is in the back. Connect your computer to the printer with the USB cable. The connection to printer is in the back.

Open Pronterface ( on your computer.

Select the right port: /dev/tty.usbmodem1411 @ 250000

Connect to the printer by clicking on the “Connect” button. You should see a message something like this:

 Printer is now online.
 ok T0:22.8 /0.0 @0 B:22.5 /0.0 @0”

Verify that you can move the print head around. You can do this by clicking on axis directional buttons (the circle target areas). Try short movements at first.


Verify that you can heat the extruder and the bed. Check the “Monitor Printer” button so you can see updates in the graph as the temperature changes. Set the extruder heater temp to 185 degrees celsius, and watch for a change. Set the bed temperature to 65 degrees celsius and watch for a change. You can turn them off when you are done checking.

While you can just use the “Load File” button and start your print that way, be warned that you must maintain constant communication from your computer to the printer until your print is finished. Your print will stop if your screensaver goes on and possibly even if you cause a lot of cpu usage on your computer as well.

The better way is to copy your file over to the Smoothie USB drive and start the job from there. Use your Finder to copy the file over to the smoothie board drive. Then go back to Pronterface and select “SD Print” and select your .gcode file on the smoothie board.

Make sure that “Monitor Printer” is checked and that the temperatures are heating up. Make sure it starts printing properly because most prints need fine tuning at first and you may need to adjust your settings and restart.

Monitor your print frequently. When it is done, delete your file from the Smoothie USB drive and then eject the Smoothie USB drive from your computer. Turn off printer and disconnect the USB cable. Clean up and leave everything a little better than you found it.

CAUTION: If you are not familiar with repairing/maintaining 3D printers, please get help before attempting to solve these problems:

To Level the Gantry:

If the printer is not level in the Y axis, or is not printing right and looks crooked, use a hex wrench to loosen the hex screws on one side of the printer for easier access. Don't undo them all the way; the backing to the screws will slide when it is loosened so that the panel can easily come off. Use calipers and measure the height of the horizontal gantry rods near each corner, and turn the metal rods up/down slightly until all four edges are aligned to the same height. Put the panel back on.

To Change Filament:

Use Pronterface to connect to the printer. Heat the extruder to 185 degrees celsius. Click on “Reverse” extrude until the filament backs all the way out. Loosen the two hex bolts to release the filament if you need to. Place the new filament roll on top of the machine and feed the filament down the hole. The filament roll must roll freely without any tugging at all or else your print will not print properly. Loosen the two hex screws above the extruder. Insert new filament into the extruder and press “Extrude” repeatedly until the filament is flowing well out the end and the color has changed over to the new filament. Tighten the screws just right, not too tight, not too loose.

To manually adjust the Z-height: This will be filled in later. For now, please don't manually adjust the z-height unless you really know what you are doing. This adjustment is tricky. You may adjust the z-height from macpronterface for your particular print though.

Help for when something is really wrong:

The Open Edge 3D Printer uses a Smoothie Board. More info, including schematics and troubleshooting with the smoothie board can be found here: and here: and here:

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