3D printers use a variety of different plastics or resins to build a real, physical model from a virtual 3D model on your computer. A virtual model can be created using Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) software, or other common 3D modeling software. The printing process can take anywhere from less than an hour to more than a full day, depending on the size and complexity of the model. A large number of free 3D models are available from online repositories.
At Open Lab, we will teach you how to set up your file and use our 3D printers. Once you have been trained, you are an Approved User of our 3D printers and can use them free of charge. See below under Open Lab 3D Printers and How to Use Them for details on training.
Faculty members interested in incorporating 3D printing into a course they teach are encouraged to to set up a consultation with a full-time Open Lab staff member.
|Model||Ultimaker 3||Ultimaker S5||Form 2 & Form 3|
|Location||Open Lab @ Hillman||Open Lab @ Alumni Hall||Open Lab @ Alumni Hall|
|Materials||Filament. Ex: PLA (compostable plastic), PVA (water soluble), exotic materials.||Filament. Ex: PLA (compostable plastic), PVA (water soluble), exotic materials.||Resin. Limited variety of proprietary materials made by Formlabs.|
|Print Quality / Resolution||High||High||Highest|
Most commonly used and available Open Lab printer.
Can print with two different colors or materials at the same time.
|Large format version of the Ultimaker 3, suitable for objects up to 240 mm on one side. Can print with two different colors or materials at the same time.||Capable of exceptional detail. Extensive finishing work required for prints.|
|Training||Available through Open Lab @ Canvas; supplementary training or assistance available by appointment.||Available through Open Lab @ Canvas; supplementary training or assistance available by appointment.||Available through Open Lab @ Canvas; supplementary training or assistance available by appointment.|
|Printer use for Approved Users||After slicing file, reserve printer time during Open Lab @ Hillman hours.||After slicing file, reserve printer time during Open Lab @ Alumni hours.||Reserve printer time during Open Lab @ Alumni hours.|
Open Lab reserves the right to refuse to print models that are deemed inappropriate. Please review the 3D printing section of the Open Lab member guidelines & handbook.
Course: Honors Neuroanatomy Lab
Professor: Dr. Erika Fanselow
Open Lab tech: 3D modeling & printing
The human brain is a complex 3D structure, difficult to visualize using only 2D images. With the Open Lab’s help, students start with images of structures in the brain and create 3D-printed models. The hands-on experience facilitates their own learning and their classmates’, drawing connections between traditional textbook images and a model they can hold, rotate, and explore.
- Tinkercad: Free online 3D modeling tool
- Thingiverse: Online repository of free 3D models
- Cura: Free downloadable 3D printing software
- Formlabs FAQ