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3D Printing

    Print Services offers 3D printing to currently enrolled Ringling College of Art and Design students. For more information or to view sample prints, stop by Print Services. 

    What is needed to print?
    Before we can print we need a digital 3-D model. Print services accepts either .stl or .obj file types. Please upload your files to print services using the "oops" upload button. Send us an email what size and color you would like your model to be. We will open your file with the 3d printer software and do a quick analyzation. If things look good we will then provide the information needed to order.

      All files must have “watertight” geometry 
      All objects that are used to create your model have to be closed or “watertight”. Watertight means that there are no holes or gaps in your geometry. Overlapping geometry will cause issues with the printer. 

        How thick does geometry need to be? 
        Thin items will not print.  General recommendation for thickness: Every 1mm of length at least .5mm thick.  So a 5mm long arm would need to be 2.5mm in diameter to print. 

          Support material
          A little preplanning in your model construction can save hours in clean up time later. Unlike your 3D software the 3D printer has real gravity. Keep in mind how the model will support itself as it is being printed. The printer is essentially laying hot glue on a platform. Less support material used cleaner the print. If you stay below 45 degree angles and less than 2mm span length can probably get away without support material.  Often times it is easier to print a model in sections and then later glue it together. That way you will only need to use support material in needed areas. You can also create your own support material with your model to be more location specific. 

            How big can you print?
            12”x12”x18” are the maximum print area dimensions 

              What material is used in the 3D printer?
              Our Makerbot Z18 printers use 1.75mm PLA filament. It is a thermoplastic. Good for making prototypes. For higher quality models there are several companies online that provide higher quality materials. Please wear proper safety equipment when finishing your model such as googles and a mask. If you plan on using powered tools for finishing keep in mind it will melt and discolor. Seems to bond well with cyanoacrylate (super glue).

                What 3D software do I make my models in?
                Software that will allow you to export as a .stl or .obj file. zBrush, Maya, Autocad, Sketchup.  You can even use Illustrator and Photoshop. There are also several free programs available online like Meshmixer.