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J. Robert Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie Library

3D Printing at the Van Pelt and Opie Library: Home

3D design, slice, and print best practices

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Frequently Asked Questions

Top 5 Library FAQ's:

Library 3D Printing Service

3D Printing at the Van Pelt and Opie Library

The 3D printing service in the library started with the Type A Machine Series 1 back in 2014 with the help from a C2E2 grant.  The service has since grown these past two years with the addition of the Lulzbot Taz 6 and most recently the Lulzbot Taz Pro.  We have also added the 1.2mm (Hardened Steele -MoarStruder) for a more rapid prototype and the .25mm (Mini Aerostruder) for the high detail/resolution prints.

3D design, editing, and slicing software

Here is a link to some of the most common applications that can be used to design and edit your 3D models.

  • TinkerCad - Tinkercad is a free, easy-to-use app for 3D design, electronics, and coding. It's used by teachers, kids, hobbyists, and designers to imagine, design, and make anything!
  • Fusion360 - A powerful AutoDesk cloud-based drafting and design application that has integrated CAD, CAM, and CAE software. Academic subscription is available for free.
  • Siemens NX - A Premier FEA solver for computational performance accuracy, reliability, and scalability. 

These applications listed below can help you to work with editing point clouds or create more organic and shapes.   They are also very useful for processing and editing photogrammetry or 3D scanned objects.

Here is a list of such photogrammetry software that is available to help you come up with a replica model from a series of digital photographs.  Note that not all of the applications are open source.

Slicing software that allows you to convert your model (.stl/.obj file) into g-code or machine language that will define your scale and settings to create a successful print.

  • Cura -  Free software program that allows you to preview and prepare your .stl model for print.  This has granular parameters for infill, shell, supports, scale and bed orientation.  
  • Simplify 3D - Very powerful and popular paid program. 
  • Slic3r - Open source 3D printing toolbox.



3D Printing Hardware

‚ÄčDelta - Rep Rap

General Resources

There is a huge 3D community of support that is available both on and offline.

Countless YouTube channels and forums that you can subscribe to.

3D Printing Material/filaments