Your First Print

Your First Print

This page shows you several different ways to get from design to object

A calibration cube with AstroPrint

First, go to Thingiverse and download a simple calibration cube that can be used to confirm if your printer is operating correctly.

The download will be in the form of a zip file, which contains the stl file, some images, and possibly instructions. Look for the STL file in the files/ directory. If there are multiple files, check the instructions on thingiverse or in the zip file to understand which one(s) you should print.

Next, navigate to and create an account. If you have an account, navigate directly to

Select Design Uploader, and then select your STL file (eg files/xyzCalibration_cube.stl) in the upload dialog.

There are now 3 steps to perform in AstroPrint.

  1. Select your printer. If you have not used a printer inside AstroPrint before, select “add printer”, then “Create custom printer…” to define your printer. Answer the questions carefully about the model and size of your printer. Most of the defaults should be fine.

  2. Choose your material (or define a new material). You are probably using Poly Lactic-Acid (PLA) an inexpensive and environmentally plastic recommended for most purposes.

  3. Choose your print quality. Choose Normal for now. Later, you can look at the advanced settings to make informed trade-offs between print quality and print speed. You will learn through experiment how to vary layer size, movement speed and support settings to achieve the best results.

If you want to create a G-code file to download (for example to place on an SD card) click the “Slice” button. If your printer is connected to cloud (eg it has an AstroBox plugin, or supports wifi) then you can click “Print” to send the G-code file directly to your printer.

Slicing on your computer with AstroPrint Desktop

First, install and start the Astroprint Desktop software.

You will see a representation of a printer build plate. Use the 3 buttons at lower left to select (or define) your Printer, Material and Slicing profile.

Then use the File->Add Design menu option to open your design. You can move, scale, rotate or duplicate your design if needed (for example to make several copies of a design in one print).

When you are ready to print, select Print if your printer is USB connected. Click the download icon if you want to save your file to an SD card. If your printer is connected to astroprint cloud, then you can press “upload plate” to upload your design to astroprint cloud.

If you use your USB-connected printer, the printer will first take a few minutes to heat up the extruder and bed, then should begin printing.

Slicing on your computer with Cura