FDM (filament deposition modelling) 3D printing is a way of creating small, custom objects from plastic filament. The printer melts the filament, held on a spool, and prints with it to create 3D structures. Makespace has three 3D printers; an Ultimaker 2, an UP! and a Makerbot Replicator 2X. Currently, the Makerbot is the only supported printer in the space, but is due to be replaced with the Ultimaker 2 in the very near future. At that time both the Makerbot and UP! will be come unsupported (training will no longer be available) and may be decommissioned in future.
General 3D Printing Resources
- Wikipedia entry for FDM printing
- Source of free CAD models for printing
- Web store for a wide variety of filaments
- Web store specialising in good quality PLA filaments (ask an owner for the MS discount code)
For machine specific software please visit the equipment pages linked above.
- Google SketchUp with STL plugin as below
- This plugin seems to work quite well. Use 'File/Export to DXF or STL' from Sketchup once you have installed it and select 'STL' as the last item in the type list when asked
- NetFabb repairs any incomplete STL files
- Meshlab is a good free program (Sourceforge) for visualising and modifying STL files
- OpenSCAD is a script-based modeller ('3D compiler'), well-suited for technical CAD (less so for artistic design)