3D Printing

What it is…

A 3D printer is similar to a paper printer except that, instead of printing ink to paper, a 3D printer creates three-dimensional objects out of a variety of physical materials. Each type of printer uses a different type of material such as plastic, metal, glass, wax, acrylic, or even chocolate.

How it works…

To begin, the printer needs to receive a CAD (computer aided design) file from a computer. The CAD file tells the printer what the object should look like and how to print it. Each printer is different but most printers work by heating the material to its melting point and slowly layering it to create the object.

What we have…

The library has an Ultimaker 2 printer, which uses a plastic material called polylactic acid (PLA). PLA is an organic material that is derived from a renewable resource such as cornstarch. This material is great for making prototypes; however, it’s not great for heavy use objects such as hinges or gears due to its low melting point.

How can you use it…

The library holds a monthly hands-on class using tinkerCAD.com to teach a very basic understanding of creating a virtual design that can be sent to the 3D printer. Classes are held on occasional Tuesday evenings. Check the library calendar here for exact dates.

CAD files that you would like us to print can be emailed to jwesten@doverma.org for review.

  • The cost for printing is $1.00 per meter of material used.
  • Files must be in .stl or .obj format.
  • Prints will be at the discretion of the Library Director.
  • Printing can take several hours and we cannot guarantee that your print will be met by any specific deadline.