Our 3D Printer
The Fablab is equipped with a "Dimension uPrint Plus" 3D printer, capable of quickly creating durable and accurate 3D models out of ABS plastic. The printer reads STL (STereoLithography) files and builds models by extruding a bead of ABS plastic through a computer-controlled extrusion head, working layer by layer, from the bottom up (see video). The printer has a vertical layer resolution of .010 inches (.254mm), a minimum wall/feature thickness of .036 inches (.914 mm), and a maximum build size of 8” by 8” by 6”.
- Only STL files will be accepted for 3D printing.
- Most 3D CAD platforms (e.g. AutoCAD, SolidWorks, Rhino, etc) can natively export 3D files as STLs.
- Maya can export STLs with the aid of a downloadable MEL script.
- zBrush can export STLs with the aid of a downloadable plug-in.
- Blender (open-source/free) can be used to convert OBJs and a few other common file formats to STLs.
Checking Files for Errors
All 3D file formats are prone to errors in geometry. The most common errors are inverted faces due to reversed normals, and holes in the mesh due to bad/open edges. Files with these errors will not print correctly, and must be fixed by the client before a job can be submitted to our 3D printer.
Netfabb Basic is a free STL viewer which can open your 3D files and diagnose inverted normals/faces and bad edges. A Netfabb Basic video tutorial is available here and it's also installed on the PCs in the Self-Service area of PrintFX. It can also be downloaded here: http://www.netfabb.com/downloadcenter.php?basic=1
Use of the 3D Printer is $7 per cubic inch. You are responsible for paying for all build and support material. When dropping off your job, you must indicate on the order form whether you would like to be called with a cost estimate prior to printing your model.
Procedures & Policies
Please come to the PrintFX service desk in Pomerantz D529A to complete a 3D Printing Order Form. All jobs must be paid for with your FIT ID card before the job is released.
Guide & order form require Adobe Acrobat Reader.