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Makerspace: 3D Printing

Information about the ECTC Library Makerspace..

Policies & Instructions

Image of 3D printer clipartTo 3D print, you must read and adhere to the 3D printing policies located on the Policies page.        

 

 

 

How to print

Step 1: Find or Design - Download a .stl file from an online repository or design your own using modeling software (see "3-D Printing Files" box below).

Step 2: Slice - Upload your .stl file into a slicing program such as Cura and select your print settings. Cura is available on the Makerspace computer. 

Step 3: Micro SD CardTransfer your sliced .gcode file from Cura onto a micro SD card. See library staff for the appropriate SD card. 

Step 4: Print - Insert the micro SD card into your printer and follow the instructions located by the printer to start your print. 

Ender 3 Pro

Image of Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer

  • Best for more advanced users
  • Best for larger builds

3D Printing Policies

  • The success & quality of your print is not guaranteed. Many things can go wrong during a print: settings could need tweeked, clogs, adhesion issues, etc. Failed prints can be quite common and it is important to troubleshoot the issue with library staff member and try again.

  • 3D prints are only available in a single color per print. Please allow time to change filament if your desired color is not currently on the printer.

  • You may bring in your own 1.75 mm PLA filament, but it must be approved by library staff.

  • At this time we are only offering prints made from PLA Plastic Filament. PLA (Polylactic Acid) is one of the two most popular filament types (ABS is the other). We only print in PLA due to its lower melting point, no off gassing, and non-toxic properties  It is also plant-based, therefore it is not petroleum-based. Fun fact: PLA is often used in bio-medical devices that biodegrade in your body such as sutures or temporary screws.

  • All prints must be completed the same day. Small prints can take 30 mins - 3 hrs and some larger prints can take 3 hrs - 3 day. Please be aware of printing times provided by the Cura slicing software.

  • Printing of weapons, weapon components, illegal, offensive, or NSFW items or items created for profit is strictly prohibited. 

3D Printing Files

There are 2 ways to obtain a file to 3D Print: from a repository website of pre-made designs or create your own.

All files must be .stl and converted into .gcode by using Cura, a 3D printing slicer program. 

Repository Websites:

You do not have to start from scratch every time you want to create something. There are many resources that offer public domain, Creative Commons, and commercial models that you can download and print.Copyright law applies to all 3D models. For more information visit: https://www.copyright.gov/title17

3D Modeling Software: 

Create your own design by using online software. Start from scratch or enter your measurements to design your model.

How to Sand or Paint Your Prints

Sanding:

Your object might have printed with support material or a raft that needs to be removed or your print might have some rough edges that need sanding. 

Most support material and rafts are easily broken off with your hands, tweezers, pliers, or X-acto blades. 

Imperfections can be easily sanded using nail files, a Dremel, or sandpaper. Use a rough file for removing the filament and high-grit sandpaper or a smooth file for detail work. 

Wait for your print to fully cool before breaking off support materials. Tweezers, files, and other tools are located by the 3D printers. The library does not have a Dremel or other rotary sanding tool. 

Painting:

Painting & decorating can be done using Acrylic hobby or model paint. Small, fine brushes are best for detail work. Spray paint can be used for all over color.

Sharpie or marker can be used but will slightly bleed along the layer lines. Sharpies are available in the Makerspace with the art supplies.