3D Printing

Printer Basics

Our printer is a fifth-generation MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D printer.  It prints with PLA filament. Files must be in the .makerbot format. Convert from other formats using MakerBot Desktop software. This software is installed on our public computers and is free to download from Makerbot. Files can be printed from a USB drive. You can check out a USB drive at the front desk or bring your own. You can also email your file and contact information.

Printing is $1 per 30 minutes of print time. The printer estimates print time for each file, as does the MakerBot Desktop software. We will let you know when your job is finished.

Download, scan, or create a 3D model

1.    Download a model – There are many free and pay sites that share 3D model files. Thingiverse is a model repository associated with Makerbot. NASA freely shares 3D resources with the public. You can download a model and personalize it before printing.  

2.    Scan an item – Use the MakerBot Digitizer, our 3D scanner, to scan an item into 3D model format. You can scan objects larger than 2” x 2” and smaller than 8” x 8”.  This equipment and software is installed on Public Computer 9. Instructions are in the 3D_Modeling folder on the desktop.

3.    Create a 3D model – Make your own model using software installed on our public computers or install free modeling software available on the web.  
a.    Blender (installed on all public machines).  Take a course to learn Blender on Lynda.com.
b.    Tinkercad (online). Take a course to learn Tinkercad on LinkedInLearning.com.
c.    See a more inclusive list of 3D modeling software on Wikipedia.

4.  Tips for successful printing – Enable rafts and supports to increase the chance of a successful print job.  A raft is a bottom layer that your model will print on.  The raft helps keep your job adhered to the print bed.  Supports are an important a part of your project if your model has an overhang.  If using the MakerBot Print software, be sure to select the “Replicator 5th Gen” as the export printer choice and choose “SmartExtruder+” for the extruder type.

More information

Having problems with your model?  Try this repair tool. Microsoft account required.