Answered By: Jennifer Harris
Last Updated: Apr 13, 2015     Views: 166

3D Printing is making a three dimensional physical object from a digital model.

You can scan a set of 3D images, create a digital model using CAD software, or download an .stl file from the Internet (e.g. from Thingiverse). Once you have your digital model in an .stl file type the file is set to the printer where it will break the object down into layers (or slices) and print the object layer by layer. Shapiro Library's 3D printer uses a process called Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) which feeds plastic filament through a heated nozzle. The plastic is melted in the nozzle and then motors move the nozzle around to create each layer of the object, cooling the plastic as it goes.

Check out the video below to see the Makerbot Replicator 2X 3D printer in action!

Visit our Innovation Lab & Makerspace page for more information.

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