Once my Alta was set up & the filament was loaded (this is tricky but not difficult) I was ready to print! I opened the Silhouette 3D software. It’s a simple piece of software but seems to get the job done pretty easily. As I had registered my Alta I had a folder within my library with designs that come free with the machine.
For my first print, I decided to concentrate on something simple, the paperclip. I chose this as it didn’t take long to print and didn’t use much filament. When you sent an item to print the software estimates the print time and filament usage. On draft quality, it was going to take 4 minutes 30 Seconds and use 0.29m of the filament. The software also produces a print preview video, I always watch these as I then know what the path the printer should follow.
My first print didn’t come out too well. The first layer of the design hadn’t adhered to the platform correctly and therefore started to lift in parts. I could, however, see the shape of a paperclip. I consulted fellow printers on an Alta forum and they suggested that I used a little glue stick or hairspray on the platform to help the first layer adhere and to use painters tape on the platform as it is slightly textured. These tips really helped, and the second print was much better. I continued printing paperclips until I was completely happy with the print. I did experience a few problems with the filament catching as printing but as I used the machine more this seemed to stop.
The Alta truly is a plug and play printing machine. It is pre-assembled, pre- calibrated & easy to set up. I was printing within minutes. It’s a great little machine for those starting in their 3D printing journey. As with all the Silhouette machines it is linked to the silhouette design store. Here you can purchase a few already designed 3D projects, however, at the moment, there is only a limited amount. It also enables you to take 2D designs and make them 3D. It also allows you to import 3D files from third-party sites to print. I’m intrigued at the possibilities this machine has to offer.