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We strongly encourage you to use Trifecta™ PLA Filament as it is a premium-grade filament designed with the correct diameter and material for the machine. Using cheaper, lower-grade filament brands can be more likely to clog the hotend of your machine, resulting in higher on-going maintenance costs.
The most common type of 3D printing is Fused Filament Fabrication, or FFF. A thermoplastic, such as Trifecta™ PLA Filament, is heated to its melting point and extruded layer by layer to create a three dimensional print. Watch the demo video to see Trifecta™ 800 in action!
Prints made using FFF technology are typically made of one of two plastic types: PLA (polylactic acid) and ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene). Trifecta™ PLA Filament is a biodegradable polymer that’s made from corn, whereas the majority of ABS is non-biodegradable and emits a strong chemical odor. PLA melts at a lower temperature than ABS and doesn’t require a heated bed. The polymer is generally harder than ABS as the layer bond is very strong. Overall, PLA is safer and more environmentally-friendly than its counterpart.
Trifecta accepts .STL, or stereolithography files, and .OBJ, or object files. Neither is “better” than the other, though .stl files are more ubiquitous.
Slicing a file is creating a “g-code”, a programming language, out of an .stl or .obj file. Since Trifecta can only print g-code files, slicing is a required step.
Trifecta Software accepts .STL or .OBJ files. STL or OBJ file size is dictated by a number of factors that take place in the design (or CAD) process (i.e. how complex the design is, if the designer created CAD file in an efficient manner, size and solidity of object to be printed). Typically, files up to 50mb will not have any issues slicing. Again, it depends on the aforementioned factors in the design process. Slicing time is also contingent on the settings used to slice the STL or OBJ file. Scaling the object larger, printing at higher quality, thicker walls and more infill will all lead to longer slice times. For example, if the resolution is set to 50 microns (ultra) and the walls are set to 5, that’s going to exponentially increase the time versus a 300 micron and 2 wall setting.
The integration is currently minimal. The Design Center Software has a Trifecta module that, when clicked on, launches a separate software called Trifecta™ Software. This software can also be easily downloaded to any computer from the VariQuest™ Resource Center.
No, the software is for modifying settings to build, or slice, your .stl file into a g-code. It is not for design purposes where an object can be created from scratch.
Here is a short list of low cost or free programs where you can learn how to design an object for 3D printing:
• Tinkercad • Tinkerplay • Leopoly • Makers Empire 3D
• AutoDesk® 123D® • SketchUp • OpenSCAD
There are plenty of designs that users share among the fast-growing 3D printing community. A quick Google search will uncover a number of websites that allow for free STL downloads Care should be taken when downloading images for printing, as some files may not be created in a way that allows for efficient and successful printing
After slicing your file, the Trifecta™ Software will prompt you to save it to an SD card or on your computer. Select the SD card option on the left, and click the “Safely Eject” button after saving. Insert your SD card in the front slot on your Trifecta, and use the LCD screen to guide you to print. Make sure the card is properly inserted into your machine. You may experience print issues if your card is not pushed in all the way.
Use the SD card that comes with your machine, or order more from the Trifecta accessories VariQuest offers. If you buy SD cards elsewhere, do not buy SDXC (Secure Digital Extended Capacity) class type to use with Trifecta.
You can purchase an external SD Card reader that connects via a USB port. These can be purchased for $5-10 in many stores.
While your Trifecta comes with bed clips, a print bed, blue tape, and an SD card with preloaded files, there is an accessory kit you can purchase for $79.95 that includes:
• 1 roll of blue tape
• Print removal tool set
• 5-pack of SD cards
• 4-pack of print bed clips
• Digital caliper
The above items are also offered individually. We also suggest the following items that you may already have on hand or can be easily sourced at your local hardware store:
• X-ACTO Blades: for removing support material and/or cleaning the tip of the hotend
• Micro-cutters or needle nose pliers: for removing support material
• Super glue: for gluing multiple pieces and/or gluing back on pieces that may have broken off
• Isopropyl alcohol: for cleaning debris and oils from the print bed and blue tape
Trifecta works by having the PLA filament build up on the bed layer by layer. The filament will not adhere to the glass bed alone, and will not adhere properly to other types of tape. Blue painter’s tape must be used for optimal adhesion. We have found that the ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape Original Multi-Use 2090 that comes with your Trifecta works best.
There is no expiration date on the filament as long as it is sealed with the desiccant inside.
This is largely dependent on the environment (humidity, temperature, exposure to UV). In its optimal condition (stored in a dark, dry environment at room temperature with desiccant), the filament can last 1+ years.
We do not recommend doing this. PLA absorbs moisture and gets brittle when exposed to heat and UV. Therefore, it is very hard to give an exact time frame as it is all dependent on the environment. It can be anywhere from 1+ weeks. Always store filament in a dark, dry environment with desiccant. Promptly remove the filament and store once you’re done with printing.
The shared goal between both our technical support and customer service teams is to help you. For questions or concerns related to your VariQuest products, call or email tech support. Customer service can be contacted for all other inquiries. Both teams are available Monday - Friday from 8:00am - 5:00pm CST.