How to print

Step 1. Creating an STL file

  • Create a part in your favorite CAD software (e.g. SolidWorks).
  • Use the CAD software's export feature to export an STL file.
  • Or download an STL file on

Step 2. Creating an x3g file

  • Open MakerBot desktop (M icon on the taskbar). If it is not highlighted already, switch to the prepare tab.
  • Make sure the correct kind of printer is selected. The lower-left corner should stay Replicator (Dual). Use the Devices menu to change if needed.
  • Using File->Open (Ctrl+O, or the Add File button), get the Open File dialog.
  • Select the STL file you want to print.
  • If prompted to put the object on platform, select "Move to Platform" to move the object on platform.
  • This command is also available by clicking twice on the Move button.
  • Move, rotate, scale object(s) if needed. Clicking twice on a button brings up additional options.
  • Click Settings. On the Quick tab, select Standard quality, Raft, Support, 15% infill, 220°C for both extruders, and 35°C for the Platform Temperature. Note that both support and raft can be turned off if it is not necessary. You can keep them on if you are unsure
  • Press OK to accept these settings.
  • Press EXPORT PRINT FILE to slice your model.
  • Check the printing time and filament consumption. Press Export Now and save it as an .x3g file.

Step 3. Printing

  • Transfer the .x3g file to an SD card and put the SD card in a printer (the slot is on the right hand side). The label should go towards you and the card should slide in easily.
  • Make sure the printer has enough filament.
  • Select PRINT FROM SD, and find the file you just transferred. Press the middle button to initiate printing.
  • Once the printing has started, wait at least for a couple of minutes to make sure that there are no complications.

3D printing vocabulary


CAD or Computer Aided Design:

Software used to represent, create, and manipulate 3D or 2D objects

(models), generally ones which could be manifested in the physical world


The process of converting a 3D model (usually in STL form) into machine code that a 3D printer

can understand and execute (usually in G-Code form)

PLA or Polylactic Acid:

Corn-based plastic used extensively for 3D printing because of its good thermal