Guide to Getting Your First Print Using xDesktop Start
3D printing might seem hard at first with all the complicated terms flying around while you are doing your first research on the subject but with xDesktop, getting your first print is much easier than you think. xDesktop was developed by Zaxe 3D Printing to make the process as simple as possible for beginners and provide an adequate amount of options for more advanced printers.
While the software itself is easy to figure out on your own, we would still like to guide you through your first print to make sure you get optimal results from the get-go.
1. Download xDesktop
After your Zaxe 3D printer is plugged in and the filament is installed, you need to get yourself to our website to download xDesktop from the software section. Choose the OS you are currently using and wait for the file to download. Installing the software will be easy enough and when the process is done you are all good to go.
2. Import a Model
To start printing, first you will need a model. You will most likely find these models online or made them yourselves using CAD software like AutoCAD or Fusion 360. They will usually come in the form of
.stl files but your Zaxe 3D printer can also print with .amf, .obj, 3mf, .x3d, .zaxe, and .gcode files.
Importing the model is as easy as dragging the file and dropping it onto your xDesktop. Now that you have a model to print, let's get down to the details.
3. Adjust the Model Orientation
You can adjust the X, Y, and Z-axis of your model to print it at any angle you want to. You may need to adjust it if the model you downloaded was oriented incorrectly or if you want to print the model in a way that would create fewer supports, therefore, speeding up the process.
If you want to make more than one print of the model in the same batch, you can multiple it easily by right-clicking on the model and clicking on the multiply option. Or let’s say you want your print to be bigger or smaller than the model you imported. You can change the size of your print from the scale section on the left.
You can adjust the orientation of your future prints to your liking but for your first print, just making sure it stands up straight will be good enough.
4. Select Your Printer
Now it's time to choose which Zaxe 3D printer model you are using on the top right section. xDesktop has the option for every single printer we have ever developed including the legacy models.
5. Pick the Filament
If you are not exactly sure which filament is installed, your Zaxe 3D printer will probably automatically detect the filament type and adjust the settings. But just to make sure, you can check the material type on the spool you have installed
Based on the model of Zaxe 3D printer you are using and the filament type, xDesktop will automatically adjust your settings. The default settings will give you a good printing experience but it is still up to you to change them according to your needs in the future when you are more experienced.
6. Choose Layer Height
This will be one of the options that you might have to change even in your first print. Layer height refers to the resolution your model will be printed at. Setting the layer height to 0.20mm will give you amazing details and fewer inaccuracies but it will take longer for your print to finish.
If you choose something between 0.60mm-0.80mm will compromise on details but the printing process will be much faster. This option is entirely up to you depending on how fast you want to get your first print.
7. Adjust Fill Density
Fill density will determine how heavy and sturdy or light and frail your print will be. Setting it up to something like 90% will result in a much stronger print but it will take much longer compared to a model that is being printed with a density of 30%.
This option depends on the purpose of your print. For figures or other prints that will only be used visually you can go as low as 15% but for functional prints like spare parts you can go as high as 90% or even 100%.
If you feel lost, remember you can always get help from us by hovering over the info icon. There will be instructions that will try to explain to you what each setting does in more detail.
8. Slice It!
Lastly, you will have to slice your model. Depending on the complexity of your model this may take up to 2 minutes but in the simpler prints, it can be over in seconds.
After the slicing process is over you can either choose to transfer the sliced model to your Zaxe 3D printer through Wi-fi or choose to do it manually with a USB stick if you don’t have access to a stable internet connection at the moment.
xDesktop will tell you how long it will take to print, how much material is going to be used, and where the support will be placed. All that is left to do is to kick back and enjoy the printing process. You can witness your printer work remotely if you have a Zaxe Z3 3D printer thanks to the camera inside the machine and our xCloud software.
And it is that easy! xDesktop was developed to streamline the 3D printing process, so everybody could use it to experience the convenience of additive manufacturing. You can adjust the advanced setting when you are more experienced but until then, the basics will get you far.