Quick-Start Guide

Jump right in with our quick start guide for 3D Printing at the NExT Lab.

This article is our QuickStart guide to 3D Printing with the NExT Lab. If you are an expert already and just need a overview of the NExT Lab process, or you just have a basic model and only need a quick one-time print, then this guide will be suitable for you to get fast results.

This guide only accounts for small models that have been properly designed for 3D Printing. Please refer to our 3D printing workflow to learn about the entire 3D printing process, from the modelling phase to submitting a file:

page3D Printing Workflow

1. Prepare a 3D Model

Firstly, have your model ready. This guide assumes that the geometry is compliant with 3D printing. If you are unsure about this, please check out our design guidelines pages:

pageModelling Guidelines

Scale your model within your CAD program to your intended 3D-printed scale.

Layout the Model

  1. Ensure the model is a closed mesh and to scale.

  2. Ensure no part of the model is unreasonably thin (<2mms thick)


  1. Export as .stl with the appropriate naming conventions.

2. Slicing the Model

Slicing refers to generating the data for the 3D printer. This is done in a Slicing software where you set and preview what will be printed. It is at this step that you want to ensure your 3D print is efficient and to minimise potential failures. Again refer to Modelling Guidelines for more in-depth details.

pageModelling Guidelines

Or refer to the Slicing & Settings of the full guide:

pageSlicing & Settings

Setup the Makerbot Print Software

  1. Download and install Makerbot Print.

    1. Alternative download link (.exe for Windows, .pkg for Mac)

  2. Create a new account and login.

  3. Add a Printer > Unconnected Printer > Replicator+

OR Accessing Cloud Print

  1. Cloud Print is another slicer for Makerbot that is cloud based. You can access it at https://cloudprint.makerbot.com/print

Applying Settings (both Makerbot Print & Cloud Print)

Download our default print settings as a base (which is tuned to the material that we use). Also on this page are what settings to adjust:

pageAdjusting Print Settings
  1. Drag in your .stl file from the previous step.

  2. Import our print settings, adjust if required.

    1. Makerbot Print: Settings Gear > Custom Settings > Import

    2. Cloud Print: Print mode drop down > Import

  3. Set Supports to Breakaway Supports if required.

Arranging the Model

  1. Orient the geometry to:

    1. Minimise overhangs

    2. Arrange ‘holes’ perpendicular to the Z-axis (the vertical)

  2. Preview the model to ensure that it is printing as expected, you can usually use this step to spot if things are too thin, detail is lost, or if there are issues with your mesh in general.


  1. Export as .makerbot with the appropriate naming conventions.

3. Submit a Print Request

Submit your exported files to the 3D Print Portal

  1. Navigate to the NExT Lab Print Portal and follow the instructions there.

4. Post-Submission: Collection

Keep tabs on your emails for the status of your request.

  1. You will receive an e-mail update when:

    1. Your request has been submitted to the queue and the Onedrive link to upload your files to.

    2. Your request has been approved and is awaiting printing.

    3. Your request has been successfully printed and is ready to collect along with a Shopify payment link.

    4. If there are any problems, instructions will given via email.

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