YOU CAN NOW 3D PRINT In the IDEA LAB At Baldwin Public Library
3D printers are an increasingly popular tool for inventors, artists, and curious minds of all kinds. At THE IDEA LAB, we are proud to offer a CubePro Duo 3D Printer with a 9.5” Wide x 9” High x 10.5” Deep printing area to our community of makers!
What is a 3D Printer?
3D Printers are machines that work in conjunction with a computer, to produce solid objects made of durable plastic.
A printer that prints solid objects? That sounds absurd! How could it possibly work!?
3D printers are actually quite simple! First, a 3D design is sent to the 3D printer from a computer. Spools of thin plastic filament are loaded into the 3D printer, which then heats and extrudes the plastic onto a surface. The computer controls the speed and shape of the extrusion patterns, repeatedly adding layers of material in order to build up the shape of your designed object. This process results in robust, functional objects created right before your eyes! If you’d like to know more about how 3D printers work, visit 3dhubs.com/what-is-3d-printing
That is actually super neat! What kind of things can I make?
In short, you can make ANY KIND OF THING. Thanks to the extreme precision of the 3D printer, almost any object can be successfully printed. Even designs with moving or interlocking parts can be produced, and in many cases appear PRE-ASSEMBLED and ready to use.
Here are some common uses for the 3D Printer: Art, Sculpture and Decor Replacement Parts, Specialty Tools Original Designs, Inventions Toys, Games, Gifts A new shell for your hermit crab BASICALLY ANYTHING
Wow! It really seems like there are no limits!
There are indeed almost no limits! Objects can’t be larger than 9.5” Wide x 9” High x 10.5” Deep. No weapons or illegal items may be printed. But beyond that, THE ONLY REMAINING LIMIT IS YOUR IMAGINATION!
So, what exactly are these 3D printed objects made of?
The printer uses a variety of thermoplastics to create your objects. These are plastics that become fluid when heated, and solidify again upon cooling. The most common is PLA, a biodegradable plastic made from corn starch. It is durable, lightweight, and non-conductive. PLA comes in a variety of colors, and our CubePro Duo Printer can use up to two different colors at once. After printing, objects made from PLA can sanded, coated, and sealed in a variety of ways to achieve whatever finished appearance you desire.
This is overwhelmingly cool. I know, right?
What should I make? That’s a good question, and the answer is: IT’S UP TO YOU! We provide a number of resources to help you concoct ideas and create THINGS. Our lab computers include an array of helpful design software for creating your own designs, and our Idea Lab Technicians can help you with planning, execution, and inspiration. Remember, you don’t need any special skills or training. We encourage patrons to try new things, experiment and explore. Don’t worry if you’re not sure what to make, or how to make it: we will figure it out together!
How will THE IDEA LAB help me to use this amazing 3D Printer? Our brilliant Idea Lab Technicians are here to provide assistance and guidance in all steps of the creative process. Any experience level is welcome, even if you haven’t any experience at all! Come to us with your ideas, and we can help you make them into actual, genuine objects!
Information on how to access the Lab can be found at baldwinlib.org/idealab Be sure to check our website frequently! As our lab continues to grow and develop, so will the information there.
Our lab computers contain the following helpful design software: Adobe Creative Cloud (Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, etc.) AutoDesk Fusion 360 TinkerCAD SketchUp Blender
Here are some websites which may provide information and inspiration instructables.com
The world’s foremost collection of user-submitted DIY project ideas and instructions. thingiverse.com
A large database of free downloadable project files for 3D printers and laser cutters, designed specifically to quickly download and produce. makezine.com
Homebase for “Make:” an organization providing professionally-curated ideas for DIY projects, and printed magazines about the same. reddit.com/r/3dprinting/
A popular forum on 3D printing with a very active user base, rife with knowledge. sketchup.com
The place to download SketchUp, a free application for creating 3D files. myminifactory.com
Another large database of 3D files, catered more toward architectural and graphic designers.