About 3D Printing
The most direct methods yet developed to make objects from 3D digital files include a variety of 3D Rapid Prototyping processes including stereolithography, selective laser sintering, fused deposition modeling, laminated object manufacturing and 3D printing. Printing with thermoplastics or powders and glues that use modified print heads to build up layers of material thousandths of an inch at a time have become the technology of choice for rapid prototyping in the design environment. These machines typically require CAD software capable of drawing surfaces or solids with 3-dimensional characteristics that are exported in IGES or STL file formats.
(credit to Harvard University GSD Fabrication Lab for this description of 3D printing)
Dimension uPrint plus ABS Printer
- Build Volume: 8”x8”x6”
- Minimum recommended wall thickness: .040”
- Cost per cubic inch of material is $12.00
Location: The Dimension printer is located in the CSU Digital Fabrication Lab room M107.
File types: “watertight” meshes are used and saved in the .stl file format. No open edges or open seams should be present in the model.
The uPrint Plus is a Fused Deposition Modeler or FDM. The FDM process uses an ABS plastic filament that is heated and extruded in very thin layers usually 0.010 in to 0.013 in. The model color is typically white, other colors are available, and very sturdy. The model material can be drilled cut and sanded using typical hand tools. As the part is printing an additional soluble support material is laid down to deal with overhangs or complex interiors preventing the model material from collapsing itself. The soluble support is then dissolved in a caustic bath. This makes post processing of the model extremely easy; especially if very delicate sections are printed.