3D Printing and Scanning

What is 3D Printing?

3D Printing is the process of converting a 3D Model into a solid, three dimensional object. The most common type of 3D printing, and the type used at Belk Library, is called “fused deposition modeling,” which refers to the extrusion of molten plastic through the print head and deposited, layer on layer, to create the object. Check out the library guide on 3D printing for more information.

Creating for a 3D printer

3D printers can help you make unique creations, prototype ideas, and solve problems. Print anything from a sculpture to a tool. You can also use 3D scanning to create an object to 3D print. Need inspiration? Check out Thingiverse or Make Magazine for some cool projects. If you have an idea but don’t quite know how to make it happen, contact Hannah Pope or Karl Moretz to get started. We also offer a variety of software options to help you out!

Types of 3D printers available

The Inspire Maker Lab currently has three types of 3D printers! We have an Ultimaker 3, a Fusion3 and a Stratasys uPrint SE Plus, with more coming soon.

Ultimaker 3

The Ultimaker 3 is a small-sized desktop printer that uses PLA and ABS plastic, as well as metal and wood filament. It can print sizes up to 8.5 × 8.5 × 7.9 inches. The Ultimaker 3 is a much less expensive option and will be a good choice for most average applications.

Fusion3

The Fusion3 is a large-sized desktop printer that uses PLA and ABS plastic. It can print sizes up to 14 × 14 × 12 inches. The Fusion3 is another less expensive option and will be a good choice for most average applications as well as larger scale prints.

Stratasys uPrint SE Plus

The Stratasys uPrint SE Plus is a somewhat larger commercial grade printer that uses ABS plastic. It is capable of printing up to 8 × 8 × 6 inches. The uPrint is more expensive and is recommended when strength, detail, and durability are needed.

Try it out!

If you would like to try out this service, here are the steps involved:

  1. Fill out our online 3D printing form. Be sure to submit both the form and your STL file.
  2. The person in charge of 3D printing will check your file to make sure it is formatted properly, then process your order. The Inspire Maker Lab will also contact you if there is an issue with your print.
  3. You will be notified via phone or email when your print job is complete.
  4. Pick up your print from the Technology Checkout Desk anytime it is open.

Please note: Turn around time for this procedure varies.

Payment terms: We accept AppCards for payment if using the Stratasys UPrint.

3D Scanning

3D Scanning is an easy process in which a physical object is recorded using camera angles to create a full 3D model. Belk Library has a Structure Sensor attached to an iPad, which enables a variety of objects to be 3D scanned. Need help or want to learn about the specifics of 3D scanning? Check out our library guide to using the Structure Sensor.

3D Modeling software

TinkercadRhinocerosMeshlab, Fusion 360, and Blender among others.

Find Out More about Our 3D Printing Service

  • The 3D Print Order Form has detailed guidelines for submitting a file to be printed.
  • You may stop by or call the Inspire Maker Lab when it is open to get answers to your questions. See our calendar for hours of operation. Contact the Technology Checkout Desk at: 828-262-2735.

Need help with 3D printing or design? Hannah Pope can be reached by phone (828-292-2823) or email (popehl@appstate.edu). Karl Moretz can also be reached by phone (828-262-2795) or email (moretzks@appstate.edu).