3D printing resources

Brand new to 3D printing? Start here!

3D Printers work by taking a 3-dimensional model and slicing it into layers to be printed.
Typically, if you download a file for 3D printing, it will contain the complete 3D model. Common file types include .stl, .obj,and .3mf .
This object file is then loaded into a program called a slicer which generates instructions for the precise settings and printer that are being used. This file uses a .gcode format.
If you are sending a file to be printed at the library, we will handle the slicing for you. You simply need to send us the object file!


Download files for 3D printing:

There are many places where people share their creations for 3D printing, allowing you to simply download a file or set of files. Here some some places you can find free models to download.
Thingiverse: Thingiverse has an enormous collection of free models for 3D printing.
Prusa Printers Prusa is a company that makes 3D Printers. (In fact, the Library's printer is a Prusa i3 MK3.) Their website contains a library of user-submitted designs and holds themed design contests.
NASA Yes, that NASA! A small library of space-related prints. Want your own model Saturn V Rocket? Hubble Space Telescope? Copernicus moon crater? Well, here they are!
Instructables: Instructables is a maker community with patterns and directions for all kinds of things, including a 3D printing section.


Design your own 3D objects for printing:

Tinkercad: Tinkercad is a completely free web-based app, which means you don't need to download anything and can access it from any computer with an internet connection. It's one of the most beginner-friendly options available and it offers an intuitive design suite for modeling 3D objects for printing, as well as modes for other types of 3D modeling.
Blender: Blender is a free open-source 3D computer graphics toolset. It is widely used for creating 3D models for video games and animation as well as 3D printing. Blender is more suitable for intermediate to advanced users and offers a large suite of 3D design tools.


Learn More about 3D Printing:

3D Printing: The Free Beginner's Guide from https://3dprintingindustry.com. The overall website is mostly concerned with industrial 3D printing but this beginner's guide provides a thorough overview of the history and technology of 3D printing.
3D Printing for Beginners: How to Get Started from https://all3dp.com, a 3D printing magazine. A more short and to-the-point introduction to 3D printing, with tons of additional articles on every topic related to 3D printing.


Offline resources:

Books in the library's catalogue on 3D printing.