3D Printing at the Library
What is a 3D printer and how does it work?
A 3D printer takes a 3D render of an object or design and converts it to a real world object. Most modern, low cost designs are quite simple. They have 4 main parts: the plate, the motors, the extruder and the print material. The design is loaded on to the printer and parameters are set (speed, temperature, quality, etc). The printer starts to heat up. When the extruder reaches the desired temperature the print begins. The build plate will move up to the highest point and the extruder will pull in plastic filament and melt it down. As it heats filament coming in from the top it squirts the already melted plastic out of the bottom of the extruder and on to the build plate. The motors are on 2 axis and move the extruder around while it squirts out the plastic. Once the first layer is completed another motor moves the build plate down a hair so the next layer can begin. This process continues until every layer is finished.
Wanting to print something from the 3D printer at the library? You will need to either find a file to print either at Thingiverse or create your own using CAD software. The following websites feature free CAD software:
Once you have a file bring it to the library staff to be printed. The library staff will print as they get time. Printing costs 20cents per gram of materials used in printing. The size of the object to be printed determines the actual printing time.
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