- Learn what 3D printing is and how it works
- Get a snapshot of some of the best 3D printers on the market
- Discovery a variety of 3D design applications
- Study trends in digital scanning and other emerging 3D design/printing technologies
- Understand how to implement and maintain a 3D printer in your library or makerspace
What is 3D printing?
First off, 3D printing is not new. Chuck Hull invented
stereolithography (i.e., solid imaging) in the mid-1980s.
3D printing is also known as additive manufacturing ,
which is a process of making, layer by layer, three
dimensional objects from a digital file. Each of these layers
can be seen as a thinly sliced horizontal cross-section of
the eventual object.
• Vat Photopolymerisation
• Material Jetting
• Binder Jetting
• Material Extrusion – The iLab’s Monolith printer uses Fused Deposition
Modeling (FDM) technology
• Powder Bed Fusion
• Sheet Lamination
• Directed Energy Deposition
Seven processes are:
3D Printing File Types
.STL – STereoLithography or Standard Tessellation Language
.OBJ – Object files define the geometry for objects. Includes textures.
.X3D – used for color printing. Also added shaders, geo-location etc.
.VRML – used for color printing. Includes 3D geometry etc.
3D Printing Process
1. Design an object via computer aided design (CAD) or animation modeling
software. Not design-oriented? Try Shapeways, Sculpteo or Thingiverse.
2. The software will export the object as an .STL file ("stereolithography" or
"Standard Tessellation Language"), which will then be built (printed)
layer-by-layer (i.e., Additive Manufacturing).
3. Load the .STL file into the printer. (e.g., via Repetier).
4. Slice (i.e., create layers for the object). Note: Repetier integrates Slic3r
into the software.
5. 3D printing materials vary. We use PLA (Polylactic acid) filament. Visit
http://reprap.org/wiki/PLA for more information.
Download it at http://www.repetier.com
G-code is a language in which people tell computerized machine tools how to
make something. G-code can also be used for CNC machines, knitting, tattoos etc.
Visit http://3dprintingforbeginners.com/software-tools for a large list of other 3D modeling, Slicer, 3D Printer Hosts etc.
Fused Deposition Modeling with the Monolith
Watch video: https://youtu.be/fA_cAo4uwAc
What to Expect with 3D Printing
• It is a slow process.
• It can be very frustrating.
• You will learn how to unclog the extruder and do other repairs.
• Setup a way to remotely monitor your prints (e.g., use a webcam via
RealVNC or Repetier-Server etc.)
• Have a web form for print submissions with brief explanation.
• Create procedures/policies.
Mask was 3D printed and LEDs were installed in the Innovation Lab
Watch video at: https://youtu.be/9ns9_rmcqps
The Innovation Lab
[Makerspace @ SPC]
has a Monolith printer.
RepRap – 3D print a 3D printer!
Search for ‘XY Core Printer’ at Thingiverse.com
Some Select 3D Printers
• LulzBot Mini, $1,350
• MakerBot Replicator, $2,899
• Ultimaker 2, $2,499
• XYZprinting Nobel 1.0, $1,500
Visit https://www.3dhubs.com/best-3d-printer-guide the “most
comprehensive 3D printer guide available!
Select 3D Applications/Tools:
• SketchUp – download a free trial and check out their 3D Warehouse!
• AutoCAD - free for students! You can visit this site for a list of other free
software available to students.
• Tinkercad – free and easy to use online application for 3D printing/modeling.
• Blender - free open source 3D content creation suite.
• Kinect Studio - record and play back depth and color streams from a Kinect.
• Meshmixer - a free tool for making 3D stuff without too much hassle.
• Skanect – capture a full color 3D model of an object.
• ReconstructMe - 3D real-time scanning system.
• 123D Catch – free app that lets you create 3D scans of any object.
• Even more 3D software
Select 3D Printing Services etc.
• Shapeways - 3D Printing Service & Marketplace
• UPS 3D Printing - UPS Stores have expanded 3D printing services to meet
the growing demands.
• i.materialize - turn your ideas into 3D printed reality
• Thingiverse - Digital Designs for Physical Objects
• Sculpteo – 3D prints your ideas/products
• Amazon.com’s 3D Printing – Customization, Sandboxr etc.
• Smithsonian X 3D - print historic artifacts.
A quick hands-on overview to
show basic functions!
You can download your Tinkercad design into Minecraft, 3D
print it, upload it to Thingiverse, or order a print.