VCU Libraries

Research Guides

Use the 3D printers

Innovative Media staff

Eric Johnson's picture
Eric Johnson
Cabell Library, Lower Level Room 078

901 Park Ave., Box 842033
Richmond, VA 23284-2033

(804) 828-2802

Innovative Media staff

Ken Hopson's picture
Ken Hopson
James Branch Cabell Library
901 Park Ave
Richmond, VA 23284

Raise N2+ Specifications

  • Huge maximum build size: 12”W x 12”D x 24”H
  • Use dual-extrusion to print models with two different filaments
  • Many filaments: PLA, ABS, ASA, PC, Flexibles, and more
  • Highest resolution: 10 microns
  • Semi-assisted leveling of the build plate
  • Uses Cura or imageMaker processing software, capable of processing STL or OBJ files from SD card or through direct computer connection
  • Fully enclosed chamber and heat bed

More information on the Raise N2+ printer.

Please contact The Workshop for information about orientation to the Raise N2+. It will be added to our regular orientation schedule shortly.

Getting Started: Unloading and Loading Filament


Unload Filament

Unload the previous user's filament to select your own color/type.

1 On the printer touchscreen, select Utilities
2 Select Unload under Left or Right Extruder (default Left)
3 Wait a minute while the print head is heating up. By heating it up we ensure that the filament is being melted before retracting it from the nozzle.
4 When the nozzle is hot, select Unload and the Raise N2+ will start rewinding the filament through the tube.
5 Follow directions on screen - when filament comes above extruder gear, press ok button to finish operation
6 Gently tug filament to remove from tube
7 Repeat for second extruder if desired


Load Filament

Now, load the filament you want to use.

1 Make your filament selection from what is available - use 1.75mm PLA, ABS or HIBS filament.
2 Clip off the melted end of filament using wire clippers. This helps to prevent the filament from jamming.
3 Place the spool of filament on the spool holder on the side of the printer. Make sure to put it with the filament in the direction indicated in the photo at right - so the filament is feeding up through the center tube.
4 On the printer touchscreen, select Utilities, then Load for Left or Right Extruder

Wait a minute while the print head heats up. When the nozzle is hot, select Load.


When the filament gear starts rotating, feed the filament through the guide tube


When the filament is coming out of the extruder, press OK

8 Repeat for second extruder if desired

Preparing to Print


Preparing a 3D Model

1 Open ideaMaker
2 Printer > Print Settings. Make sure Printer Type: RAISE3D N2 Plus - V2 Hot End and Extruder Count: 1 (or 2, if using 2)
3 Click Add in upper left corner. (For info on finding models, see 3D Printing Resources p7)
4 Select your object using left mouse button (indicated by white box around object)
5 Use right mouse button to rotate, use scroll button to move plate

Adjust model using tools on top:

  • Move - use to move model around; can also use axis arrows on model
  • Rotate - drag rings on object or use button to lay object flat
  • Scale - change size of object; use object dimensions, scale percentage, or arrows on model
  • Per Model Settings - make adjustments to print settings for each separate model
  • View Mode - change size of the object
7 When done positioning object, click the Start button to begin slicing
8 Select template based on quality and time desired
9 Select Edit on template to adjust infill density, shells, platform adhesion, and supports
10 Select Slice
11 Review print time, then select Export
12 Export the files to your USB drive - you’ll have both a .gcode and .data, which are both necessary


Print Settings

Remember that 3D printing is itself a kind of experiment. Choose options that you think will work best for your model.

Common elements to adjust in your object include: layer thickness, infill density, shell thickness, raft and supports.

  • Normal (0.15mm): standard mode - a balance of high surface quality and quick print time
  • Fine (0.1mm): high quality
  • Extra fine (0.06mm): extra high quality
Adjusts the height of each printed layer. Increasing the layer height will result in faster print times but visibly thicker layer heights. Layer height is also referred to as resolution or print quality. Smaller layer heights results in higher resolution/quality, but longer prints.

Adjusts the density of the infill on the inside of the print. If the top of the model is collapsing during a print or the model feels too brittle, increasing the infill density may help. Increasing the density will increase print time. A standard print infill is 20% - you should never go above 60%.

The number of outermost layers of the printer model. Increasing the number of shells creates thicker stronger walls, but slower prints. 2 shells is normal.

Elements of the print that overhang more than 45 degrees need supports to hold it up during the printing process. Below - the Y does not need supports, while the H and T do.

Rafts help models adhere to the build surface and help create an even first layer. Printing without rafts can cause models to curl up and/or become dislodged from the build plate during printing. Most prints on the Makerbot should use a raft.




1 Plug USB drive into printer
2 Select the “Print” menu, then choose “USB Storage”
3 Select the file you want to print and check the print parameters and settings
4 Press “Print” to start printing file


3D Printing Resources

  • - The most widely used 3D model repository in the Maker and 3D printing enthusiast community. Dedicated to sharing user-created digital design files under the GNU General Public License or Creative Commons License.
  • - offers a large range of downloadable 3D printable objects. Each object has been test printed and comes with a how-to section that explains how to achieve the best print.
  • - a 3D printing Wiki with designs and steps to build different kinds of 3D printers
  • - A search engine of available 3D printable files.
  • NASA - NASA offers a variety of 3D Models



Need more help?

Ask our Makerspace attendant or check out the LinkedIn Learning tutorial Learning to Use 3D Printers.