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3D Printing Guide: Home

How to utilize the Lee Library's 3D printer. Includes direction on obtaining or designing files for print and the procedures for preparing and sending for print.

What Is 3D Printing?

A 3D printer takes a 3D drawing rendered on a computer and extrudes a plastic filament to "print" the object.  The Science & Maps Reference Desk has a 3D printer available for patron use so that you can make your creations into reality.

First, you will need a 3D drawing to print out.  You can create your own, or find free designs available online. To ensure that your finished print will be what you expected, make sure to run your file through a print preparation program.

Second, bring the drawing exported as an .stl file on a flash drive to the Science & Maps Reference Desk, or email it to sciencehelp@byu.edu. Then stop by the desk and we will help prepare the print such as dimensions, hollow, no supports, no raft, etc. which we can help you understand.

Third, after the object is finished printing, you will want to give it some finishing touches.  You might remove support material, use sandpaper to smooth it out, or add some paint to give it the final appearance you want.

For more information, read about 3D printing on Wikipedia.

3D printing is fun and easy.  Go ahead and give it a try!

Quick Facts

Here are some quick facts about 3D printing in the library.  For more information, continue exploring this subject guide.

  • Printers: Makerbot Replicator 2 / Ultimaker 2 Extended
  • Print bed dimensions:  6.0 x 11.2 x 6.1 inches / 12.0 x 9.0 x 8.9 inches (HWD)
  • Type of plastic: Our machines use PLA (polylactic acid) which is a strong, starch-based plastic
  • Plastic color: We only offer white, but it can be painted to suit your needs
  • File types accepted: .stl, .thing, .obj (Please do not export from SketchUp)
  • Print resolution: 0.1mm and 0.2mm per layer.  At our desk, we have examples of both resolutions so you can see which will better suit your needs
  • Cost:  $0.20 per gram for standard (0.2mm) resolution and $0.30 per gram enhanced (0.1mm).
             
  • Support material: Automatically generated and printed by our print software if needed for things like large overhangs or parts of your object above the print bed with nothing underneath.  It is easily removed to reveal your final product.

3D Printing Process

Subject Guide

Science/Maps Department
Contact:
HBLL Level 2
Provo, UT 84602
801-422-2987

Free Classes

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Desk Hours:

Monday-Thursday: 8am - 9pm

Friday: 8am - 6pm

Saturday: 10am - 6pm

(Closed Tuesday from 10:45-12:00 for University Devotional)


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