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DePaul University Libraries > Technology > Richardson Library Maker Hub > 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. .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.
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.
All software used to control printers is loaded on the Maker Hub's iMacs. To submit a 3D print for the Ultimaker printers, you are welcome to bring in your pre-loaded .stl or .obj file on a thumb drive for printing. You can also submit a file using our online form. The Maker Hub staff will print your project for you, but you will be responsible for finishing your print (filing off supporting structures, etc.). There are tools in the Maker Hub that you can use for this.
Submit a print
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.
Cura software is installed on all iMac computer in the Maker Hub.
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. The Form2 printer uses the proprietary software, Preform.