MakerBot Learning Tips: Exporting Files from MakerBot Desktop


You’re almost there. You’ve imported your print file, you’ve laid it out, and you’ve tweaked your print settings. All you need to do now is export and print. In this short MakerBot Learning Tips video and post, we’ll go over best practices for exporting your file from MakerBot Desktop.



Your first step should always be to Preview your file. There, you can check to see your estimated print time and material used. To note, each notch on a large spool of MakerBot PLA Filament is half a pound of filament. Let these guide you as to whether you have enough filament for a print.

In Preview, you can also double-check to ensure that your design will print properly. Use the slider on the left to examine the first couple of layers of your 3D print. The foundation of your print should look consistent and uniform; if it looks off, then you might have an issue once you start printing.

A common issue is the print is not flat or touching the build plate. If there are areas of the model that seem broken, you can upload your file in the Make Printable App from Thingiverse’s apps. If your design file wasn’t originally on Thingiverse, you will need to upload your file on Make Printable’s website or use another program like Netfabb or Meshmixer.

Export and Print

There are two ways that you can export your file. You can click Print if you’re directly connected to a MakerBot 5th Generation Replicator 3D Printer or click export. Exporting allows you to save your file to a USB drive or to an SD card for printing later. With USB, you can print on our latest 3D printers and with an SD card, you can print on older models.

And You’re Off!

During the beginning of your print, check to ensure that your raft and the first few layers are printing properly. If you aren’t near your printer, you can check from MakerBot Desktop via the Monitor panel. You can also check from the MakerBot Mobile App. Just make sure your MakerBot 3D Printer is connected to an Internet network via Ethernet or Wi-Fi.

To further understand your MakerBot 3D Printer, check out our collection of test prints, and for more prints and projects, go to MakerBot Learning on Thingiverse.