What is 3D printing? How does it work?
3D printing is the process of making a physical object from a digital model. It’s also known as additive manufacturing because the physical model is built up one layer at a time. Our 3D printer uses PLA (short for Polylactic Acid) filament, which is a biodegradable thermoplastic polymer made from plant starch. The filament comes on a spool and is fed through a heated nozzle which melts it. Computer-controlled motors move the nozzle around to create the shape of your object a layer at a time from the bottom up, and the material hardens immediately.
What are some practical uses of 3D printing?
There are many practical applications for 3D printing – in aerospace and automotive engineering to prosthetics and other medical and science uses. 3D printing enables rapid prototyping of design concepts and functional, working models; it is used for low-volume, custom, or on-demand manufacturing.
Why have a 3D printer in the library?
Marin County Free Library wants to provide community access to emerging technologies such as 3D printers to inspire interest in design and help patrons bring their creations to life.
What kind of 3D printer does the library have?
- 3D Printer: Ultimaker 2 using PLA biodegradable plastic filament
- 3D Scanner: Cubify Sense 3D Scanner
Read about our 3D printer in the news >
Further Reading available from the Library