When you start the printing process, the print file will be transferred to your Sintratec printer.
After the print file is transferred, the printer will start/continue heating up. Heat-up your printer by pressing the “Heat Up” button. Heating-up usually takes about 1-2 hours. The get the best quality 3D parts the printer needs to have a homogeneous temperature distribution inside which takes time. You can skip the heating up with “Skip Heat Up”. We don’t recommend to skip the heating up.
When your Sintratec printer is successfully heated up, the printer will prepare the powder bed. You can also skip this step by clicking “Force start scanning”. We don’t recommend to skip the powder preparation.
The print will now start. You can follow the printing process. If you like to end the print early you can click on “Skip to cooldown”.
With the help of Sintratec Central you can manage your print jobs. You can download, install and get to learn the Sintratec Central even before receiving your Sintratec machine.
Download the latest Sintratec Central
Install the Software by running the downloaded file.
Choose the following installation path:
C:\Program Files\Sintratec\Sintratec Central
Agree to the License terms and conditions
Allow the Sintratec Central Installer to make changes to your system
Start Sintratec Central by running the Central Launcher, found in your Start Menu, on your Desktop or in the install directory:
C:\Program Files\Sintratec\Sintratec Central\Central_Launcher.exe
Install the USB Driver for your Sintratec:
Startup Sintratec Central
Find the USB Drivers in your Sintratec Central Main Menu:
Support > USB Driver for Windows
Extract and run the downloaded .exe file
Allow the installer to make changes to your system
You don’t need to worry about updates. As long as you have a working internet connection, Sintratec Central and your printer will always be up to date.
If you are using a computer with internet restrictions, make sure to check Sintratec's download page for new versions.
Please read the following software manual before you start with your first print.
Especially note the positioning tips and parameter explanations for best printing results.
Download & Install Sintratec Central
Tab "1. Place"
In the first tab you can load 3D print files into Sintratec Central and arrange them in the print volume (position, position, rotate, and scale). Before being able to position the 3D files you need to load them into Sintratec Central. Open Sintratec Central and either click File à Add STL file or Drag & Drop the 3D files into the main user area. As soon as the first 3D files is loaded into the software the main user area changes and the build volume with its boundaries pops up.
You can either use your mouse to view the build volume or you can use the arrows in the top left corner to change the view of the build volume to a side view or a top view. If you use your mouse, you can rotate the view by holding the right button, pan by holding the middle button and zoom in/out by using the mouse wheel. The “Front” label always indicates the front side of the build volume, i.e. the front side of the printer.
Place STL Files
There are three main positioning operations which can be applied to each 3D file; translation, rotation and scaling.
You can translate a 3D file in all three dimensions either manually with your mouse or by entering the values directly in the according fields. To translate the 3D file manually you can click and hold the left mouse button on the 3D file and move the mouse in the X or Y dimension. If you press and hold SHIFT while manually translating the 3D file, the speed of the movement is reduced allowing to position the 3D file more accurately.
You can enter values in the translation fields to translate the 3D file more accurately.
You can rotate a 3D file in all three dimensions by entering the values directly into the according fields.
You can scale a 3D file in all three dimensions with the aspect ratio either locked or unlocked.
Best Position Practice
Avoid border and corner regions
The 3D part properties are best when printed in the centre of the print area. The closer you position your 3D file to the border and corners of the print area the weaker the 3D parts. Also the risk of curling will increase when printing too close to the borders and corners of the print area.
Reduce total height of print job
If you want to print fast, you should keep the height of the print job as small as possible. Because the layer change takes most time, your print job will be printed more quickly with few layers.
Equally Distribute Thermal Mass
Every layer that is already sintered has influence on the powder surface because of its stored thermal energy. Large fully sintered areas carry significantly more thermal energy than loose powder. Therefore, you should try to distribute large solid parts of your 3D files equally in the build volume to get more constant layer properties.
Avoid Large Sintered Cross Sections
Large continuously sintered cross sections are prone to warping and curling. You should therefore try to have as small cross sections as possible on the individual layers. You can slightly rotate a 3D file to reduce large cross sections with the drawback of decreased surface quality of the 3D part. A frequent solution to avoid large cross sections is to
put the large area into the z-dimension to keep surface finish but with the drawback of increased printing times.
Put Large Flat Parts in Z-Dimension
If a large continuously sintered cross section belongs to a flat part, it is even more prone to curling and warping. Best practice is to put the large area flat into the z-dimension to keep surface finish but with the drawback of increased printing times.
Minimum wall thickness is best in z-dimension
To get the best possible minimum wall thickness, put the wall thickness in the z-dimension.
Tab "2. Parameters"
In the second tab you can set the parameters and prepare the 3D print file(s) for printing (i.e. the 3D print file(s) get sliced into individual print layers). You can choose between the different Sintratec powders.
Choose show preview to see the slicing and the individual layers in a “preview” tab.
Tab "3. Powder"
In the third tab you can control the left and right platform and the coater. You can set the distances the platforms will travel when controlled and apply powder layers of custom height.
Tab "4. Print"
In the fourth tab you can control the printing process.
The toolbar is used to import/export 3D print files/jobs and to get help.
Green bar indicates active tab.
Heats up your Sintratec printer. Click “Stop heat up” to stop the heating. If you start the print, your printer will automatically start to heat up.
Starts the printing process of your Sintratec printer. The printer will heat up and then preparing the printing surface.
Surface Temperature/Chamber Temperature
The “Surface Temperature” Graph shows the current temperature on the powder surface of your Sintratec printer. and “Chamber Temperature” Graph shows the current temperature on the inside of your Sintratec printer.
Opens the submenu to calibrate the laser.
Opens the submenu to change the parameters.
In the calibrate menu you can calibrate your laser. To calibrate your laser, you need the Calibration Pattern printed with you 2D printer. You can get a PDF with the calibration pattern by clicking on “Get Pattern PDF”. For calibrating the Sintratec Kit, please read the guide “Initial Commissioning” for details about the calibration.
The Pattern is just for rough calibration. You can tweak up 5% in the Software with the function “Digital Scaling”. You can do the fine-tuning without calibrating the printer again.
In the Parameters menu you can change the heat up temperature, print temperature and the laser speed of your Sintratec printer.
Once you have found the perfect digital scaling for your Sintratec printer, it is good practice to write it down as a backup. Even though the machine stores the values, in unforeseen cases they might get lost.
The new values are automatically calculated by also taking the previous scaling values into account.
To accept click on the Send scaling to Kit/S1 button and the values will be stored on your machine.
To get to the Scaling Calculator click on Calculate.
In the example above the measured part size in x-direction is 40.4mm when it should have been 40mm. If the other dimensions also vary, fill the values in, otherwise leave them at initial value 1. Confirm by clicking Calculate new scaling factors.
Target Size and Orientation
To fine tune your printing results we have provided a digital scaling method.
First you will need to accurately measure the calibration print you have just printed and compare it to the target size.
Software During Printing Process
This section explains the Software during the printing process. Please read "Printing" to learn more about the printing process.
You additionally can press and hold the X, Y or Z key on your keyboard while moving your mouse to restrict translation in the according dimension.
Move camera to default view
Switch between perspective and orthographic view
Turn collision detection ON/OFF
Select a STL-file
Select the powder you're using and the quality you want.