I'm a big believer in the value of using checklists as an operational tool. I find these as useful for first-time users as those looking to achieve a deeper mastery of current or upcoming desktop 3D printing hardware. Checklists can even be more helpful when you're armed with the knowledge of the systems and components covered in the previous modules. I have two goals for us with this lecture. First, I'm going to share a few of operational checklists that I actively use when I'm in the field and in the workshop. It's a good opportunity to explore practical considerations and best practices for the entire sequence of operating desktop 3D printers, including pointing out topics that are beyond but we have time to complete within the bounds of this course. Second, I'm going to make some recommendations for how you can collect and tune your own operational checklists, to best suit your particular equipment and needs. In the course resources, you can find a copy of the everyday 3D printing checklist. Desktop 3D printing best-practices chart, and a few other resources I use with my team. I encourage you to download and review these documents as we will be using this sequence of stages, set up, plan, job, fabricate, review and finish, as a structure to guide us through our lectures. A sequence like this is a value for the operation of any professional desktop 3D printing hardware. Reading the everyday 3D printing checklists. We will start with the everyday 3D printing checklist document. When you're in a rush, this is the flight check tool you can use to make sure you don't forget any of the basic steps and settings. The idea of a flight checklist comes from aviation. No doubt you've seen pilots going through the steps in movies, even if you haven't noticed the passenger facing elements when boarding a flight. These are lists you go through each and every flight, and the main purpose is to make sure you check readings, adjust settings, and issue standard safety and security alerts, to co-pilots, flight staff, air traffic control, and passengers guaranteeing that each and every flight, no matter what, happens the same way and maintains the same level of safety. Even though these lists become pretty routine pretty fast, that's the point. If you don't have the list to check your memory against, familiarity can become a dangerous adversary. It is worth remembering that before aviation mandated checklist procedures, the developing fields most season pilots numbered among the victims of overlooked steps. Imagine missing a minor safety alert, such as, an important pressure gauge that is always read 2.3, when you've checked it in the past. Today you notice, because you're required to buy your checklist, that it reads 1.3 instead. That irregularity is a warning, a single piece of data at a place, that might anticipate a major flight issue if not resolved. Luckily for us and the limited amount of time we have to setup and activate our 3D printers, the only life impacted by how well you follow your 3D printing checklist is yours, more in the annoyance and client blowback area relevant mortal peril. You are using this list to save yourself time, to make sure you identify a problem before it happens. So you don't waste printing time, don't add repair time and have the complete part finished when you need it on time. So while the central metaphor reuse is a flight check, creating a teeny own personal list will really be about, what protections you build into your process to make sure you have the successful no stress printing experience? Let's start with the master checklist. This is the longer version. The full version that we admittedly don't use very often. It includes more details both earlier and later in the process than we usually need to check for a single part. A daily list is a bit more useful if anything because it fits easily on a single sheet of paper. The master list is most useful when you are executing a large complex project with multiple parks and multiple stakeholders. It's for moments when you need a guide to coordinate more than one participant, where not everyone has the same level of training on the specific 3D printing hardware, software and materials. This master checklist is a great place to start for those new to 3D printing. One of the most valuable uses of the master checklist is as a template to draw on for extracting the critical things you need, every time you print. On the daily checklist, we include the elements we find useful enough from the master checklist, to help us every day. It is worth reiterating here, how these questions function. First, they are placed in a specific sequence, so it's worth following the order rather than just cherry picking from the list. Second, not all the elements apply to what you are doing each time. But take a minute to confirm that you are ignoring something and ask yourself why. Third and most importantly, these checklists are for every time you print. Sure, you'll skip some of the steps and the world won't end, but remember the metaphor that we are using. You don't want to board a plane that has flight checklists on some days but not others. I've talked with folks who glance at these questions and tell me, "Yeah, I know this stuff, don't insult me." They're missing the point. As you go through the printing process over and over, they should become more and more familiar, well-worn old friends. They aren't stampers, and again, not all of them will apply to the project at hand. Mastering your checklist is not about just making yourself familiar with the underlying topics. It's about handing off some of the mental burden, so that you can focus your real mental energy on the more challenging parts of this process. For example, the question, why am I fabricating this part? So the same people who want to ignore this list as insulting their intelligence, might be the ones who miss something minor or critical that has an effect on the success with their print. You aren't piloting aircraft, you are activating a print job on a 3D printer, but if your time is important to you, you will consider using these or a variant of these checklists of your own construction. Best practices stages. The next document I want you to look at is the desktop 3D printing best practices sheet. We're going to use the structure of this document to organize the key operational lectures for 3D printing. So it is worth going over this list now in preparation. First, you'll notice across the top, that the chart has been divided into three columns. These match, if you recall from earlier lectures, the assertion that every time you print something, you have to design it essentially three times; in your head as a concept, listed here as concept and requirements, on a computer, as a digital design listed here as design and software, and in the physical world with the support of 3D printing hardware materials, listed here as physical and hardware. I take some liberties with these headings as several of the best practice topics cannot help but overlap more than one of the concepts virtual, physical perspectives. But hopefully, the divisions remain clear and the list helps you to navigate your way through your own projects to make the best use of 3D printers. So now let's take a look at the rows. In brief, there are the six stages that I use to organize these lists. Stages we explore in greater detail in a series of lectures in this module and the next module to introduce important best practices to you for working with desktop 3D printing, hardware, software and materials. There are other stages, not on this list that are important, that are out of scope for this discussion. For example, before you start a plan, you actually have to identify and begin an actual project that needs 3D printing. Hopefully, one that will further a research, business or humanitarian interests, or at least be a nice gift for someone you care about, and also overlapping plan and job, you actually have to produce the digital design that you will then bring into the 3D control software to prep for printing on your hardware. Whole courses fit into this one minor consideration. Courses like Jeff Smith's, 3D design course, in this 3D printing specialization. Here are the key stages for our discussion in this course. The Setup. Under the setup, we have introducing 3D printing, with a key question, how can we benefit from 3D printing? Onboarding. How can we prepare all operators on our team with 3D design and printing skills? Finally, installing and maintaining. How can we set up and maintain our hardware and materials supply? Many of the most important decisions and checks take place very early in the design process, even before design decisions have been fully committed. These topics asks you to consider what equipment software materials you have access to, training for you to use them before you have a project that will challenge those skills. That way, you have time to pick up those skills, master new software, and place that order for the materials that will take six weeks to get to you. The Plan. From this point forward, we will assume you have an actual project that needs actual 3D printed parts. Whether for prototyping in use or to support another processor technology doesn't really matter. All of the following elements still apply. You need 3D printing is just a teeny piece of what you're doing. Under the plan we have, establishing requirements, what are the project requirements that you need to commit to to help you target evaluate your future part? Selecting software in pipeline. What software tools and techniques are needed? While your preference for tools is out of the scope for this course, plan to make sure you can produce the mesh export files suited to 3D printing is within the scope of this course. Selecting hardware and materials. While the setup challenges you to identify hardware and materials at your disposal, now is the time to pick just the route you will use, and identifying the material this early in the process is of particular importance, if your project requirements include functional printed parts. As I mentioned earlier, sometimes these materials take a long time to reach you. The Job. From this stage forward we are going to assume that you have created the digital design files or refined a scan or generated a model that you can use to deliver as a mesh for the rest of this process. If within the plan you committed yourself to a basic route for how to approach your design, the elements from here forward shift to implementing the route you have selected refining your preparations as you home in on your final job instructions. Under the job heading we have identifying key questions. While you may create a link to your list of sub-questions, here are the three we expect you to have: how does this relate to the project? The part might be the project in rare cases but it's more likely that your part will play but one role within a larger set of objects and assets collected together for the final project. What do I need to learn from this part? Well. Some pretty parts are expected to be used primarily as an iterative design stage towards a future part design that may be produced using other technology. All 3D printed models including those used for other purposes can easily be used for iteration. Having the key considerations in mind that you want to learn from this version of your part will help you better evaluate the results of your effort without being distracted by secondary considerations such as how the job file instructions were prepared and how the part was fabricated and finally, what do I need to learn from this print? Don't forget the value to separating your goals for the design and your goals for how you fabricate the design. Both considerations are critical and you should never waste the opportunity to learn something to help you optimize your process and skills when you print an object. The next category of best practices under the job are the most critical, preparing the job file. You can have been on profiles and previous printing templates secure you far but even in a case where your use Quick Print profiles only you still need to identify the right ones to use or your part might not be fabricated in a useful manner. The last category under the Job is preparing the machine from installing the right nozzle or core to loading the right filament, to using the right adhesion strategy. If you don't back up your job file preparations by outfitting your machine to suit the job, you won't have much luck. You need both the physical and the 3D printer control software settings to match up perfectly. Fabricate. Now it is take-off time. With all the preparations complete, you start the process of fabricating the object. In the best-case scenario, this is the least interesting of the stages, but as with a real flight where you're dealing with a runway, takeoff, climb and cruising altitudes, there are a few safety checks and tasks to complete at various points during the printing that can make a real difference. Also in addition to watching for issues so you can interrupt this process, there are also opportunities to intervene that may interest you, from inserting components partway through printing to switching materials to inspect the process for gaining insight into the relative health of your printer. The four aspects of this stage we will explore in our lectures are: observe, intervene, part removal and machine reset. Machine reset is such a critical element that it deserves its own lecture. The review. The last two stages take place after the part has been printed. Well. In rare cases where you are angling after a really high touch finish or need to use this project as the bedrock for extensive for the development, these two stages might double or triple the length of time it took to complete the previous four stages. In general however, these two stages are often compressed into just a few moments: grabbing the part, taking a look at it, handing it off to a colleague and then tossing it into the parts recycling bin. In most cases the review stage triggers further iteration. This is often a good thing because the information gleaned from the model helps you tighten your design requirements, refine your digital design itself and touch up your means of producing a model. But because the component elements of these stages can be accomplished almost reflexively by experienced designers, it is worth going through them in detail here to point out all the opportunities available to those using 3D printing to further their projects. The review includes the following topics. Reviewing the plan, ''Was the right part produced?'', reviewing the slice, "Was the part prepared the right way?", reviewing the part, "Was the part produced correctly?". Again, if you grab your part after printing and don't take the time to inspect it, then you're missing out on a key opportunity. This is when you can learn something about how successful the print or design was in execution when compared with your original plans. At the end of the day, the greatest value of most 3D printed parts, particularly prototype parts comes in the brief moments of inspecting, handling the resulting object and passing it around to other stake holders for review. That's it. The finish. Okay. Your part is printed but are you done with it? Depending on the role you have for that printed part you may be at the beginning not the end of your journey. This final stage groups together items related to finishing techniques, plans for what to do with the part after you have printed it and questions about what you need to do with the digital files to allow you to recreate the part, exchange information, and perform further work is needed. The topics are; presenting the project ''what did we learn from this project?", documenting and archiving the project "what can we save and reuse from the project?". By the way the pros spend time with this stage, the amateurs constantly reinvent every project from scratch without ever reusing elements. Post-processing, "what must we do to present this project as intended?". Now tucked in here are all of the post-processing techniques to fill, send, seal, prime, paint, adhere, assemble etc your part or parts and succeeding with this element can be the difference between making a piece that suggests the digital design and making part that persuasively proves the digital design. Creating your own lists. Okay we have been looking at the master checklists and our best practices topic lists and I have encouraged you to roll your own more practical daily checklists from these questions and the best practices topics associated with them. Now would be a good moment to make some recommendations for how you can do that. If you were performing surgery or operating a dangerous vehicle you'd stack this list with everything that has a critical impact on the outcome fighting against the length of the list to ensure that you adopt this list every time. There are some great resources for this kind of thinking not the least of which is Dr. Atul Gawande's business and medicine book, The Checklist Manifesto. You have a bit more leeway with 3D printing than that. I'd suggest you start by including elements you reliably forget without a reminder and in the steps that help you approach printing more consistently and then sprinkle in a few highly specific concerns associated with the types of prints you're fabricating. The personal and practical daily checklist that results, consider paying this up next to your printer. It doesn't matter how familiar it becomes, forcing yourself to glance at it when you print can help you catch something you've missed when you're distracted by the more interesting and challenging parts of producing a 3D printed part and keep it as a living document, scratch notes on it when you hit an issue. Remember to confirm which nozzle was installed. I have to add that one sometimes. In the upcoming lectures, we will explore the best practices around each stage in much greater detail and you will no doubt be struck by some of these topics that can really help you and some that don't. Continue to mine and tweak these lists based on what is helpful to you. It can also be helpful to prepare more sub-lists like the daily checklist that you can have at the ready during other stages of design of 3D printing. This is especially helpful for shared systems to help maintain a shot policy and keep all the users of the equipment on the same page. Here are a few that I have put together over the years as inspiration for what you might want to create: machine reset, part evaluation checklist, design preparation checklists, slicing optimization checklist, equipment troubleshooting checklist, preventative maintenance ;PM checklist, a weekly and monthly version of the checklist that is focused on care and feeding of the specific machine software materials and CAD cheat-sheets and mesh export checklists. What list do you think would be the most useful for your projects and why haven't you created yet? While the checklists do focus on how to make your equipment, the best practices checklists don't. I hope these resources prove helpful to you. The best practices lists don't. I hope these resources prove helpful to you and remember visit the Course Resources' section to download these files so that you can roll your own, come up with a great checklist that is really working for you. Glad to hear it, please share it in the discussion pages and let us all know what elements proved most helpful.