What is 3D Printing?
3D printing, or additive manufacturing, is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file. The creation of a 3D printed object is achieved using additive processes. In an additive process an object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the entire object is created. Each of these layers can be seen as a thinly sliced horizontal cross-section of the eventual object.
3D printing requires training to use. Complete online training/small practice project or have a 1-on-1 session to become certified! Complete the following form to register for the online Blackboard Training.
How does 3D Printing work in the DLL?
1. Make a design
- You can make your own design using the following free software with a free account:
- TinkerCad (web-based; beginner)
- SketchUp (web-based; intermediate)
- Blender (download; advanced)
- You can also find pre-existing models via Thingiverse or NIH 3D (Medical Focused)
- Make sure you save your file as an .stl extension
2. Print your design
- Reserve a 3D printer using the following form OR
- Come by the DLL and have a staff member assist you with the process
- Depending on the size of your file, you may need to come back at a later time and/or day to pick it up
3. Pick up your Design
- Come by the DLL to pick up your items and have your Catawba ID with you
- If your model has supports, you will need to remove them. We have tools to help with that process
Tools in the DLL are free to use. Materials for academic projects (projects or assignments that are done for a class are free to students. Personal projects require students to purchase materials from us or they can bring in their own. Below is a list of material costs:
Please read over the 3D printing policy below.