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Logan Home >MakerBot and 3D Printing Resources

What Will You Make?

Join Schreiner University's newest 3D Design and Printing Club...The ScholarBots!

Check out Thingiverse.com, where other Makers share their 3D designs. 

Logan Library has the MakerBot Replicator with Dual Extrusion (meaning it has the ability to make 2 color prints). To learn more about this technology check out the MakerBot website.

Being a Maker is a fairly easy process and it goes something like this:

Step 1. Design a 3D object with software (like Google's free SketchUp or another program)
Step 2. Check the design for errors prior to printing using an online tool.
Step 3. Print your design with the MakerBot Replicator.

Starting the Design Process - Software

The first step is to get acquainted with some 3D design software.  I recommend Google SketchUp, which can be found here for free (PC or Mac).  You do not need to purchase the pro version, the free Google SketchUp 8 will work just fine.  You can also use AutoCAD and Rhino 3D (as well as many others) to design your object.  Other free 3D design programs include OpenCAD and OpenSCAD.

Getting Your Design Saved to the .STL File Type - Plug-Ins

The crucial plug-in you need for Google SketchUp that allows us to export a .STL file, which we will use in the MakerBot's Replicator G software.  You can find the SketchUp SKP to STL Plug-in here.

If you used another 3D design program and does not feature an option to export to .STL, you can use MeshLab freeware to convert your file.  MeshLab is located here.

Start Designing in 3D - Tutorials and Guides

SketchUp tutorial programs are available online and they are very helpful to get up and running quickly. Here is a list from Google on SketchUp tutorials and training.

Fix Design Errors Prior to Printing

Once you have your first design done and saved in the .STL file format you need to run the design through a checker to see if it will print well.  Check your 3D design for errors before printing and automatically repair any issues that might cause your print to fail.  Follow the directions on this page to run your design through a pre-print check here. Remember to try to keep your first design fairly small in size.

Are You Ready to Print Your First 3D Design?

Contact me here and I will walk you through the next steps of making an appointment to print your model.  

Colors

We currently have White, Black, Clear, Red, and Blue plastic.

What to Expect from your First 3D Print

*Hint- Keep your first 3D design simple and small.

Yoda Bust made with MakerBotRemember that the larger the object the more time and money it will cost to print.  Objects will be charged according to the time it takes to print.  For one hour of printing you will be charged $2.00.

 Also keep in mind that your end product cannot exceed the Replicator’s maximum build size of 225 x 145 x 150 millimeters, or 8.9 x 5.7 x 5.9 inches. I recommend you go fairly small with your first design.

My first design was a baseball display stand that was basically a 2" cube with an indentation on top for the ball to fit into, I also featured some raised lettering on the front of it. You can see my first 3D project Ball Holder Printhere.

Slight imperfections are common as well as the possibility of your print not coming out as smoothly as your model looks on your computer screen (though you can clean up some of the imprefections with fine sand paper and other tools).

The Replicator is best at printing objects designed from the ground up (it will print your object layer by layer starting at the bottom- like layers of cake frosting). Objects that contain extreme overhangs, or where parts of the object are suspended in mid-air or protruding from the object will not print as well as solid objects or portions of the object with support.  Also, long thin pieces often will cool quickly on the build platform and may warp or turn-up.  Being a Maker involves a good deal of trial and error.  Keep your designs small at first and see how it goes.

Have more questions? Contact me here and I will include you on the Schreiner Maker Club email list where I will push information to you and invite you to 3D Printing information sessions.

Congrats on making the first steps towards being a Maker, where you can make almost anything you can dream up. I promise that you will never forget the experience of dreaming up an object, designing it in 3D, and finally holding it in your hands. The future is here...now what are you going to do with it?