How does 3D printing work?
3D printing makes a physical object from a digital model. The printer heats plastic filament to a malleable state, then recreates the model by laying it down in a series of thin layers. 3D digital models can be created from scratch, or downloaded pre-made from the Internet.
3D printing can be used for a variety of applications – some are just for fun, such as creating customized phone cases or cookie cutters, and others are more functional, such as recreating lost parts to a broken machine.
Design preparation & software
Pre-made 3D models can be found at thingiverse.com. To create your own model, tinkercad.com is a good place to start. Both websites are free. After your design file is complete, the 3D printing process can take 15 minutes for a simple design, to a whole day or more for larger, complex objects. The Library’s maximum allowable time for a print job is six hours – printing time is confirmed when a print file is uploaded to the 3D printer. Users may submit up to three print jobs per week.
What does it cost?
The user pays for the plastic filament only – the cost is $.10 a gram. The cost will be calculated by The Studio staff and must be paid before printing. Only filament from the Library can be used.