With applications in the health sector, aerospace, the automotive industry, and at home, 3D printing has arrived! But what can it do for you? You could:
You will need to create a 3D printing account before you can submit print jobs to RPL. To do this you will need to have a valid SILS library card, an email address, and be 14 years of age or older.
Log into your account and upload your print job, indicating what colour you would prefer, how many copies you need, and any other details about the job that are applicable.
Once the job has been uploaded, our team will assess your job to ensure that it is printable and that it meets our Terms and Conditions. We will then provide you with an estimate by email of how much the job will cost. We'll get in touch if we discover any potential issues.
If you accept the estimate via email and agree to pay the charges, your job will be entered into the print queue. You can always monitor the status of your job through your 3D printing account.
Once your job is printed, you will be notified by email that your job is ready to be picked up. Jobs can be picked up at Central Library during normal operating hours. Please be sure to bring your library card with you when you pick up your job. Payment can be made with cash, Debit, Visa, or Mastercard.
Printers: Ultimaker 3 and Ultimaker S5 (1 of each).
Available Filament: PLA only - additional materials are under consideration.
Colours Available: We have a variety to choose from. Colours that are in stock are available to select as a choice when you submit a print job.
Cost: Jobs are priced at 10 cents / gram. This cost includes both bed adhesion and support. Jobs that fail to print will not be charged under normal circumstances.
Maximum Build Volume Available: 330 mm (W) x 240 mm (D) x 300 mm (H) - Be sure to account for bed adhesion when creating jobs.
Infill: By default, we print jobs at 20% infill (good for prototypes and most figurines). We will use higher or lower infill percentages on request but be aware that the higher the infill percentage, the more the job will cost because it will weigh more. Items can be printed at 0% infill (basically hollow) or at 100% infill (solid) but the results can be unpredictable.
Bed Adhesion: Always on - usually raft but we will use brim for certain jobs when warranted.
Support: Enabled with "Everywhere" selected. For certain figurines or other complex jobs we will use "Touching Buildplate" or "Tree Support" as appropriate. We are willing to attempt to print jobs without support so long as you agree to pay even if the jobs fail.
Nozzle Size: 0.4 mm
Available Print Profiles: Our Standard print profile gives preference to speed and has a layer height of 0.25 mm. Our Fine Detail profile is much slower but allows for greater detail on things like figurines - it uses a layer height of 0.1 mm. Please note that we will only use Fine Detail as long as the print time of the job remains under 18 hours.
File Types Accepted: STL only. Each job should be no bigger than 100 MB in size. Please ensure that your file uses millimeters or metric for units - not inches.
Slicer Software: Ultimaker Cura with the Mesh Tools extension (we are always on the latest version).
There are a number of great 3D design and mesh software packages available on the market. RPL staff frequently uses the following:
Tinkercad - a great place to start learning 3D design
Fusion 360 - from Autodesk, an intermediate package that offers free licenses for hobbyists and startups
Meshmixer - works with existing mesh files or scans to fix problems or add enhancements
Be sure to check on the system requirements for any software you install! Important: When you save or export files from your design software, be sure that it is using the correct unit (which are millimeters). Software that is used for 3D design sometimes exports in inches or even without units at all - this can cause unexpected results.
Lynda has a large number of tutorials about 3D printing and 3D design. Here are a few to get you started: