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Basics of 3D Printing

Welcome to the 3D Printing Guide

Like regular 2D printing, 3D printing starts as a digital file. However, instead of a 2D image on paper, a 3D printer will print an object in three dimensions. This means there is a whole new world of possibilities! 

Below is a quick look at the basic steps to 3D printing, to learn more visit the other sections of this guide or chat with a Fabrication Lab staff member in person. 


You can create a digital file using a 3D printing software (like TinkerCAD or Fusion360), or you can download a premade design off the internet (visit Thingiverse or PrusaPrinters). Ideally, once you have chosen your design, you will have an STL file to work with. 


After you have created your file, you will slice it using a slicing software, the Fabrication Lab uses the PrusaSlicer software. This software reads the different layers of your 3D model, so it can print them. You will need to save your file as a G-code type file, so the printer is able to read it. 


When your file is ready, you can save it to an SD card, plug it into the 3D printer, find your file and then press START! The 3D printer will then bring your design to life.


3D printing can be used in art, manufacturing, prototyping, and more!


Last modified on August 3, 2023 10:04