Whether you have recently treated yourself to a brand new 3D printer or you’re planning on swapping out your current 3D printer for a new one, then you might be currently wondering whether or not you’re going to be able to connect your laptop.
Sure, while it’s all good and well having a flashy new 3D printer in your arsenal, you won’t be able to use it if you don’t know how to connect your laptop correctly! 3D printers look a little different from traditional printers, which is why it can be hard to understand how to hook a printer up to it.
Never fear, though, because this is where we come in to lend you a helping hand! In order to make sure that you are going to be able to successfully connect your 3D printer to your laptop or PC, this article is going to be providing you with some easy, simple to follow instructions that will ensure you are able to get them both set up in a flash.
Ready? Let’s jump right in.
Can You Hook a Printer up to a Laptop?
As we have already touched upon above, it is indeed possible to connect your 3D printer to your laptop, because without it you wouldn’t be able to print all of your 3D models and objects. For the most part, most 3D printers will offer USB connectivity, and this is the port that will allow you to connect your 3D printer to your laptop.
How to Connect Your 3D Printer to a Laptop
So, now that you are well aware that it is indeed possible to connect your 3D printer to your laptop or PC, we are now going to be talking you through how to go about connecting your 3D printer to your laptop via the USB port.
Let’s take a look at the instructions below:
Step One: Locate the USB Port
First things first, you will need to begin by locating the USB port on your 3D Printer. All 3D printers will come with the option to utilize a USB connection, and more often than not, you will be able to find the USB port on one side of your 3D printer.
Once you have located where your USB port is, make a mental note of where it is on your 3D printer, as you’re going to need to use it in a few moments. If you find that you are struggling to locate the USB port, take a look in the owner’s manual for a diagram of the different components of your particular 3D printer model.
Step Two: Connect Your Laptop and 3D Printer
After you have located where the USB port is on your 3D printer, all you will then need to do is connect the two together using a USB lead. Once this is done, you will then need to set up your 3D printer’s information on your laptop, otherwise, your laptop won’t be able to recognize it.
Usually, you will often find that you will need to install a driver software, and from there you should find that you are able to begin sending images and other essential information over to your 3D printer via the USB connectivity.
As a side note, all of the information you’ll need to set up your laptop to your 3D printer will often appear automatically on your laptop’s screen as soon as you connect the two together, where you will then be prompted to finish connecting the two together by configuring settings.
Step Three: Configure Your 3D Printer’s Software
Regardless of which type of 3D printer you have decided to purchase, you should find that the printer comes with built-in driver software designed to allow you to bring all of your designs to life by preparing the designs for print. Depending on what type of software you are going to be using, the instructions for successfully setting it up will vary.
However, you should generally find that, as soon as you have connected your 3D printer to your laptop, you will be prompted to download the software via on-screen instructions.
Once you have downloaded your chosen software, you will find that you are able to utilize a variety of different software features that will allow you to create professional-quality designs – including the ability to move and scale your designs, cut them into slices for a more seamless layering process, as well as have the ability to send designs to print.
Step Four: Optimize Your 3D Printer Software Settings and Begin Printing!
After you have successfully downloaded your 3D printer software, all you will then need to do is optimize all of the settings to be in line with your 3D printer. This includes things such as making sure that you have inputted the exact measurements of your printer to ensure printing accuracy, as well as checking the baud rate.
Once you have done all this and you’re ready to get going, you can then begin printing your designs! It’s as easy as that.
As a side note, please keep in mind that all of the instructions that we have shared with you above are to be taken as general guidance.
Even though the majority of 3D printers will be able to connect to a laptop via the helpful steps that we have shared above, it is important to note that each 3D printer model is different, so we also recommend that you take a look at the unique instructions provided to you from the manufacturer.
If you’re not overly sure of where to find them, then you can expect to find the connectivity instructions in the user’s manual that you would have gotten in the box upon purchase.