3D printing is also called Additive Manufacturing because it involves a process of depositing material in layers to produce a three dimensional object. This is done through a computerized process which takes a digital file, commonly in STL format, and creates it in material form. Nearly any 3D object can be created in this way, though there are some restrictions.
Modifications can be made to the thickness of layers, density of infill, and pattern of infill, all of which impact the speed and quality of the print. The infill is the material that is printed inside the object, beneath its surface. This part of the object is less dense, since it serves to give form to the object and is not seen once the print is complete. The infill is set using percentage and pattern and a percentage between 5-15 is sufficient for most applications.
Our 3D printing lab contains a Lulzbot Taz, Lulzbot Mini, and Ultimaker 3. We have a team of students that run the printers to produce the files that are sent to us by students and staff. We also offer design services for practical applications within the school and community.
Below is a copy of our instructions for how to use our 3D printers.