Control the set up of three dimensional printing machines

Business Sectors (Suites): Post Press
Developed by: Improve
Approved on: 26 Feb 2021


This standard is for printers with responsibility for three dimensional printing machines. 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a process that creates objects by adding material in thin layers until a product is completed. There are different types of 3D printing. Objects can be "printed" from many different materials including but not restricted to plastic, metal, nylon, paper and even foods.

The standard involves the set-up of the machine for work that meets the quality required by the customer with the minimum of waste materials. It applies, if you work in a studio, pre press or digital printing environment.

This standard covers the configuration and set up of 'production-scale' digital colour printing machines whether they are flat sheet large format or flat sheet-fed machines.

Modern 3D printing machines have become extremely sophisticated, with speeds improving and devices capable of producing high quality products.

Practical ability must be demonstrated in setting up the machine to produce "printed" work to a high quality standard. This must be done using different materials. It is necessary to run calibration routines at required intervals.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

*       Check file suitability for printed product*

  1. * *check you have all the details required and approval to start work
  2. check you have enough materials of the right type for the job
  3. report to your manager, if the material provided is not correct or sufficient
  4. check machines and your work area are safe and ready for production
  5. check that files are in the correct format for the job
  6. check that scaling and measurements are in line with job requirements
  7. check that completed objects will fit onto build platforms
  8. set up printer software so that components are correctly orientated in accordance with organisational procedures
  9. check files are free of errors when loading and that there are no features below the required diameter
  10. take necessary action to deal with any further post-processing required in accordance with organisational procedures
  11. Use settings to download and send file(s) to machine

Set up print process
12. set up 3D printing parameters in line with job requirements
13. check files are free of errors when loading and that there are no features below the required diameter
14. check that completed objects will fit onto build platforms
15. take necessary action to deal with any further post-processing required in accordance with organisational procedures

Set machine to match standard
16. check the print output meets job specifications and required quality standards
17. check that scaling and measurements are in line with job requirements
18. check images are complete and free from contamination or other faults
19. adjust machines or print download settings to achieve required job specifications and quality standards
20. report any machine faults outside your responsibility in accordance with organisational procedures
21. report to your manager if circumstances beyond your control prevent you from producing a pass sheet to the required standard
22. obtain "pass product" that meets company standards
23. identify and rectify faults that occur with machines and consumables

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. the law as it affects printing: defamation, copyright and ownership of files and products/models, obscenity, incitement, forgery, data protection
  2. ethical issues relevant to printing: confidentiality
  3. your duties and responsibilities for health and safety as defined by any specific legislation covering your job role
  4. the hazards and risks in your own job, their assessment and the action to take to deal with them
  5. manufacturers' and suppliers' health and safety instructions/advice
  6. what kinds of customer materials are likely to be handled, including original photographs or artwork, samples, disks, raw materials for 3D printing or finishing
  7. techniques for protecting customer materials
  8. the potential for loss or damage
  9. security and storage: computer system security and virus protection, the print with time-sensitive or restricted release date, the high value products or print with a high risk of theft
  10. the secure methods of archiving digital and conventional artwork
  11. how to communicate with colleagues, customers and suppliers
  12. workplace objectives, priorities, standards and procedures
  13. the way you actually do your job, more particularly the activities and techniques and the way that materials and equipment are used
  14. the set-up of digital communications equipment and software
  15. the operation of digital communications equipment and software
  16. the principles of 3D printing
  17. types of 3D printer and their differences and similarities
  18. how to set up and operate the 3D printer with which you are working
  19. how to keep abreast of developments in 3D printing
  20. file conversion techniques
  21. file compression and decompression techniques
  22. how to transmit digital files
  23. file management procedures
  24. the purpose of a supportive raft and how to use it to deal with overhangs
  25. the causes and treatment of common faults: raw material faults, processing faults, machine faults
  26. administrative procedures: planning and scheduling, recording and reporting
  27. product labelling
  28. the legal requirements for the classification, storage, carriage and disposal of waste
  29. the main features of quality assurance and quality control systems
  30. techniques for controlling quality
  31. equipment for controlling quality in printing
  32. the types of problems that may need to be solved
  33. sources of information
  34. techniques for solving complex problems
  35. techniques for assessing machine faults
  36. the types and characteristics of materials being used for 3D printing
  37. how to maintain the quality of materials during storage and handling


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

31 Jan 2024





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Printers, Printing Machine Minders and Assistants, Printing Trades

SOC Code



digital, print, pre press, 3D, equipment