Become a 3D Printer Master

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We have an exciting update for 2017: Starting this month we will be offering on demand 3D printer services! You may be excited at the thought of being able to print your very own designs without purchasing your own 3D printer. Or, you may be thinking this is cool, but why am I interested!? What can I make? You can make a ton of things. A simple Google search will pull up hundreds of designs. Here’s just one cool article with 35 pre-done designs you can make; like a headphone holder, a honeycomb charger organizer, a passive speaker (that functions like a much cooler solo cup) and phone charging station in one, and a tablet holder.

But how does it work? What should you expect? Here are some tips and tricks about the 3D printing service so you’ll know just what to do!

3D Printing in 3 Easy Steps:

  1. Upload an .stl file using the 3D request form that will be posted on our website. (The form will be located under Services, 3d Printing.) There will also be links on the E-Services page which can be accessed using Events/Computer Classes.
  2. Next, the .stl file you submitted will be evaluated by an E-Specialist for printing integrity. If we find a problem we will contact you directly to try and figure it out.
    • According to Luis, one of our E-Library Specialists, here are the two most common mistakes when it comes to printing, and how to avoid them:
      • Make sure the print is completely “water tight” – which means that there are no gaps in the design surface.
      • Make sure the surface of the design will either be touching the design surface or a part of it touches the design surface. When the completed file is sent to the printer if it is “floating” it will cause the print to fail.
  1. Last, but not least, you will be notified, by E-Services, when you print job is complete! Completed jobs will be available for pickup at Beaches Branch and Main Library. Your design should be ready within approximately 14 days – depending on demand.img_2335

Most print jobs will cost between $1.00 and $3.00, with a maximum charge of $5.  3D design print outs for classes that are based around a specific design will continue to provide complementary. Since the classes covers a specific 3D printed pattern it is separate from this program!

Be warned here, we are printing in PLA plastic which is brittle. Any object that is going to have any type of major stress applied to it will not hold. If you were thinking of trying to replace a bolt on your bike – don’t. Stick to 3D printed phone cases, name plates, and more.

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So, experiment with your very first design, or try pulling one from the internet. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you take a picture and share it with us – we might just share it with our followers too!

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