3D Printer Induction: Ultimaker 2+

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Welcome to the 3D printer induction. Below is an overview of 3D printing and the machine we use at KWMC The Factory. Please then work through the course content below.

Once finished, you will need to complete a short quiz. You will need to score 100% to complete the online induction, and you may retake the quiz as many times as you need.

The course will take roughly 30-60mins to complete, please get in touch if you need any support.


3D printing is an additive manufacturing process in which a physical solid object is created from a digital 3D model. There are various types of 3D printer, and our Ultimaker 2+ machine is an FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) printer.

With FDM printing, melted thermoplastic filament is forced through a nozzle which slowly builds the desired object layer by layer. There are other types of 3D printing, but FDM tends to be the most economical and accessible. 

FDM printers produce strong and rigid prints and can be used to create a range of different products including gifts, DIY projects, prototypes, home decor and toys. As an FDM printer builds an object layer by layer, a varying level of print quality and detail can be achieved by altering the layer height of the print.

The above image shows various items with a cut view, for demonstrating Infill & Layer Heights.
The above image shows a wide selection of items you can print on a 3D Printer using PLA plastic.
The above image shows examples of Layer Overprinting caused by incorrect thermal settings.
The above image shows an incorrect / print failure where the first layer of material has set leaving a poor quality print; caused by incorrect thermal settings.

Layer height is measured in microns, with one micron equivalent to 0.001 mm. Typical layer heights can range anywhere from 20 – 500 microns. For prints that require a higher level of detail a smaller layer height is recommended, a larger layer height can be used if print speed is more important rather than quality.

FDM printers can print with a range of different materials, though PLA (Polylactic acid) and ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) are some of the most common. PLA is derived from renewable, organic sources such as corn starch or sugar cane and is the most popular and easy-to-use material, as it is rigid and relatively strong, but in certain circumstances can be quite brittle.

ABS creates tougher prints which have a higher thermal stability. The downside to printing with ABS is that it releases odours and harmful fumes while printing. ABS is also trickier to print than PLA as it requires a higher print temperature and is more prone to warping.

Our machine

Ultimaker 2+ 3D printer: Single material FDM printer

Bed size: 223 x 223mm
Max print height: 205mm

Can 3D print: PLA, ABS

NOTE: For safety and practical reasons, we recommend using PLA for most projects, unless the 3D print needs to withstand high temperatures