The interface of the New Matter 3D printing ecosystem is clean and intuitive. There’s only one button on the MOD-t and printing designs from the New Matter Store is simple. Still, there are a few clever hacks to help you make the most of your MOD-t. Prepare to have your mind blown.
1. You can send, monitor, and pause prints to your MOD-t from most browsers on any device using the New Matter Store. (IE and Edge not supported. Google Chrome preferred for uploading designs.)
Once your MOD-t is connected to both WiFi and your New Matter Store account, you can check on the status of prints through your print queue. Your printer page will tell you how much of a print is complete or if your print is paused. You can also pause a print remotely using this page by clicking on the pause button next to the image viewer.
Of course, you can use the New Matter Store remotely to do what your MOD-t does best: print! Send a print to your MOD-t from anywhere with the New Matter Store. Just make sure you have somebody near your MOD-t to push the fast-blinking button to start your print!
2. You can switch filament colors mid-print.
Create two-tone, three-tone, or four-tone masterpieces using the MOD-t. Changing filament colors mid-print is similar to changing filament after a filament snap. Pause your print by pushing the front button on your MOD-t or by clicking the pause button next to the item image in your print queue. After about 8 seconds, the carriage will rise and the button will start flashing quickly. If the extrusion nozzle leaves behind any trace filament on your print, carefully brush it away. Place a piece of paper over your print. Select load filament and use the steps to switch out the filament here.:
Once you’ve successfully loaded the new color. It should only touch the piece of paper over your print. Push the front button on your MOD-t to tell your printer that you’ve successfully loaded filament. Take care to clear this extra filament from the extruder and remove the piece of paper from your print. Resume printing by pushing the front button of the MOD-t once more or by clicking the play button next to the item image in your print queue.
3. You can print .gcode files through the desktop app
If you prefer to use your own slicing program like Cura, (Why??????) to save your model as a .gcode file you can trigger the print through the New Matter desktop app. First connect the USB cable from the MOD-t to your computer, then open the New Matter Desktop App that you downloaded during setup. From the main page, click on “Settings” then “Advanced Mode” and then "Print File". Your app will prompt you to load your .gcode file and then your MOD-t will load and print just like it would a New Matter Store design or an .stl upload. (You can get Cura profile information and learn how to use Cura with the MOD-t here. Learn more about formatting models for the MOD-t here.)
4. Print settings are adjustable through the New Matter Store.
You can adjust infill, supports, adhesion support, and more without using an outside slicer program.
Settings are visible as soon as you select “Print” on the design page or in your library.
The standard default are “High Speed”, “Balanced”, and “High Quality.”
We have settings for Layer Height, Fill Density, Shell Thickness, Print Temperature, Support Type, Adhesion Assistance, Carriage Lift, and Print Speed. You can select one of the preset settings at the top (i.e.: High Speed, Balanced, High Quality) and then edit each individual setting in the Custom Settings menu.
You’ll notice that when you start editing your settings, the word “Custom…” will appear next to the preset setting buttons. You can go back to any of the preset settings and reset any of your changes by clicking “High Speed”, “Balanced”, or “High Quality” again.
Important Notes About Settings:
- A lot of these categories might seem new or unfamiliar to a novice user. That’s totally expected! We’ve added helpful descriptions for each category. You can access these tips and descriptions by clicking on the blue “?” next to each category.
- You’ll notice that our minimum layer height is 0.05 mm, or 50 microns. This allows for even more precision and even higher quality prints. Of course, reducing the layer height will increase print time.
- We’re allowing for a range of print temperatures so users can explore different PLA filaments. Do so at your own risk. Printing at too low of a temperature can reduce print quality and, in extreme cases, can cause filament jams.
- We allow users to change support type. When you turn supports on, this category will default to Lines. You can change it to Grid in Custom Settings…
- To reduce skips, we’ve added Carriage Lift. Carriage Lift allows your MOD-t’s carriage to rise on the Z-axis when it isn’t extruding. This prevents your MOD-t from bumping into your print and knocking it loose from the build plate. Your MOD-t shouldn’t be hitting your print in most cases, but sometimes, a warp in the print can lead to these bumps and errors. We suggest leaving this setting on for most prints, but it isn’t necessary for flatter prints. Adding Carriage Lift will add a little bit of time to your print.
- We’ve set parameters for each of our settings. If you try to set your print job outside of these settings, you’ll receive an error message in red and the “Print” button will gray out. These parameters were set for a reason, and the MOD-t will not print until settings are within these parameters.
5. Your MOD-t tells you when it’s calibrated and homed correctly.
The MOD-t calibrates and homes before every print job begins. You’ll notice the pinion rods in the build tray whirring, the build plate moving, and the carriage moving up and down. Because the build plate is removed from the build tray after every print, your MOD-t has to go through this process to move the plate into the best position for printing. You can monitor your MOD-t’s calibration and homing accuracy by carefully watching two steps of this process. First, your printer will lay down a cleaning strip to clear off extra filament from the extrusion nozzle. A sure sign of proper homing is a well-applied strip that is not easy to remove, but does not leave an indentation on the build plate. To check calibration, watch as the MOD-t’s carriage moves up and down. The extrusion nozzle will lightly tap the build plate, touching the middle last. The carriage will then rise up. If a string of filament that resembles spider webbing or a small amount of filament remains stuck to the build surface this is normal. Once your MOD-t is calibrated your print will begin.
6. You can cheat in a few millimeters of height.
If you find that a design you’ve uploaded is a hair too tall for the MOD-t, try removing the print surface plate and covering the metallic area of the build plate with blue painter’s tape. The black print surface plate is very thin, so this won’t save you too much room, but if your design is just over the cut, it’s worth a try! (Caution: We do not recommend printing on a bare build plate often as it is very important to keep the metallic area of the plate even and unmarred.)