What is 3D printing?
3D printing is a process of taking a digital 3D design and turning that into a physical object. This is done using a 3D printer which manufactures the physical object using plastic or other material. The FCFI Makerspace has three 3D printers (Dremel) which use plastic filament.
There are two common types of plastic filaments used in 3D printing, ABS and PLA. Think of this as the printer “ink” that forms your object. Filaments come in a variety of colours. The 3D printers in FCFI Makerspace use PLA material derived from biodegradable resources such as corn starch; this material has less fumes.
Before a 3D model can be printed, it is sliced into layers. Each layer is then traced onto the build plate by the printer; once one layer is complete, the build plate is lowered and the next layer is added on top of the previous one.
Where do I start?
If you are new to 3D printing and wish to learn the basics, start with Tinkercad. It has easy, interactive tutorials which teach the basics of 3D modeling.
How do I use the 3D printer?
You will be required to complete a one-time mandatory 3D Printing orientation and sign a Makerspace User Agreement. Once you have passed the training with 100% and completed the User Agreement you can submit your jobs in person to a Makerspace Technician.You will be asked to complete a 3D Design Checklist and review your submission.
Please note: Operation of the 3D printers is restricted to the Makerspace Technicians.
What can I print?
While the possibilities may seem endless, there are some limitations around printing. Some designs may be too large for our printers, or may not suitable for printing with PLA material.
The FCFI Makerspace equipment may be used only for lawful purposes. Equipment cannot be used to create material that is:
- Prohibited by provincial or federal law.
- Unsafe, harmful, dangerous or poses an immediate threat to the well-being of others.
- In violation of the intellectual property rights of others. For example, reproducing material that is subject to copyright, patent, or trademark protection.
- A weapon, in part or whole, or any object that can be mistaken for a weapon.
- Lewd, malicious or otherwise unsuitable for creating a welcoming and inclusive public space.