3D printing is a rapidly expanding part of the Maker Movement that allows anyone to design, build and sell their own consumer goods; from checker pieces to appliance parts.
Why use it?
- Allows anyone at home to design, build, and sell their own products.
- Customize an existing design to better suit your needs.
- Upload your design so that others may use it.
A 3D printer, there are many companies and sizes out there so find one that fits within your budget and what you want to use it for.
Filament for the 3D printer.
A computer capable of running 3D design programs such as Autodesk 123D Design, or SketchUp.
An internet connection
Steps for your Own 3D Printer
- Purchase and setup the 3D printer.
- Download a 3D design program on your computer such as Autodesk 123D Design or SketchUp.
- Download a slicer software that is compatible with your 3D printer.
- Build your design from scratch or modify an existing design that you have downloaded using your 3D design program.
- Save your design in a format that your 3D printer can read using the slicer software (for example using the MakerBot desktop app to save .stl files as .makerbot files)
- Connect to your 3D printer using either the internet, USB, or cable.
- Load filament into 3D printer if not already done.
- Print your design.
Steps for Printing in Technologies in Education
- Ask a Tech Coach for assistance if needed at any of the steps.
- You can either create your design yourself or use one of the computers at Technologies in Education. Our computers have 123D Design installed.
- Open the design in MakerBot and make any changes if necessary.
- Save the .makerbot file onto a USB stick and plug it into the top of the 3D printer.
- Change the filament if needed.
- Print your design.
Please note that there is a $0.10 per gram charge on the print. This will also include the raft if printed. The weighing of the design will be done after completion of the print as the weight it says on the 3D printer may not be accurate.
Tech in Ed reserves the right to refuse any 3D print requests.
If your 3D printer does not have a heated print bed, consider using blue painters tape on on the print surface in addition to a raft. This will allow the print to come off the print bed easier and the raft is easy to pull off afterwards.
If using painters tape on the print bed, carefully watch how you print objects with a lot of surface area on the print bed. This will cause the tape to lift and distort the print.
Even if the 3D printer can only print in one colour, you should be able to pause the print and change the filament to get two or more colours in the print in a horizontal pattern.
During warm up, printing and right after, the extruder will become very hot and will burn you.
The filament will also be very hot after it is extruded, but will cool down quickly.
Technologies in Education
3-104 Education North