It is a rapidly evolving phenomenon that makes it possible to print 3D models of math concepts, reproductions of historical artifacts, and STEM projects. The printer itself is like a tiny hot glue gun. It squirts molten plastic in the pattern directed by the computer program.
Make Mode: Learn to 3D Print
This is a good intro to 3D printing. It includes information on 3D printing basics, 3D modeling and modeling software, printing uses, printing limitations, buying 3D printers, and processing 3D prints.
- There is no charge for printing.
- The file format is .stl
- Our size limitations are 8x8x8 inches maximum.
- The larger the file the longer it takes to print.
- We reserve the right to pre-screen files for printing problems.
- No genitalia, no weapons
You can also make things from scratch. This entails learning a program like Sketchup or TinkerCad. 3ders.org has a list of 3D design software. You start by making a virtual design of the object you want to create. This virtual design is made in a CAD (Computer Aided Design) file using a 3D modeling program such as Sketchup Make. The finished file is an .STL file. This file gets sent to the printer which then prints it.
You can download a free copy of Sketchup Make to use on your own computer.
All3DP: STL (3D Printing File Format): Explain Like I‘m Five
This is a good simple explanation of what the basic file of 3D printing is and does.
Free Online STL viewer
You can view an .stl file from your browser:
Assistant Director, Earl Center
Tel: 617-879- 2142