Meet our fleet of 3D printers, located at the Maker Hub on the 2nd floor of the Library.
All software used to control printers is loaded on the Maker Hub's iMacs. To use the Ultimaker printers, you are welcome to bring your pre-loaded .gcode file on an SD card for printing. The Form 2 printer is not networked and must be used via USB.
Formlabs Form 2 SLA 3D Printer
What Is Stereolithography?: Stereolithography (SLA) is a form of 3-D printing technology used for creating models, prototypes, patterns, and production parts in a layer by layer fashion using photopolymerization, a process by which light causes chains of molecules to link, forming polymers. Those polymers then make up the body of a three-dimensional solid. Stereolithography is used to create prototypes for products and in medical modeling, among other uses.
Introductory Video: https://formlabs.com/3d-printers/form-2/
Ultimaker 2+ Filament 3D Printer
Ultimaker 3D printers use various high quality plastics like PLA, ABS, and CPE. The mixture of precision and speed makes the Ultimaker 3D printers the perfect machines for concept models, functional prototypes and also the production of small series.
You can edit/slice existing 3D models in the proprietary Ultimaker software, Cura. Learn more about Cura here.
More about 3D Printing:
3D printing is a manufacturing process that involves a machine creating a three-dimensional object, controlled by a computer. Objects usually begin as some sort of 3D model, the most popular file formats being .OBJ and .STL. There are different kinds of 3D printers, the most common being fused filament fabrication (like the Ultimaker) and more "up and coming," stereolithography (like the Form 2.)
.OBJ and .STL files can be created from scratch in 3D design programs like SketchUp, AutoCad, Blender, Meshmixer, TinkerCad, and so on. They can also be downloaded from open source repositories like Thingiverse, Pinshape, and GrabCAD.
The completed file is then sent to the printer. Print jobs can take anywhere from a few minutes to entire days, depending on the physical size of the object and the desired resolution, or detail.
In the manufacturing process, 3D printers are used frequently in prototyping, in order to quickly create a test model to be replicated after research. 3D printers are also used in rapid manufacturing, jewelry design, fashion, medicine, and more.