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Workshop Intro

3d Print Technologies and Projects

We are using the following tools, technologies, and supplies. 

Design Software: Tinkercad

Slicing (File Preparation) Software: Makerbot Print or CloudPrint

3d Printers: Makerbot Replicator+

3d Technology: Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) or Fused Filament Fabrication. It is an additive process. 

Type of Filament: Polylactic Acid (PLA). It is a corn or sugar based thermoplastic. It is commercially compostable. It will deteriorate over time, heat will warp it, and is not food safe. 

The Process.. In a Nutshell

Day 1

Create a 3d file in Tinkercad.

Day 2

Prepare the file: 
It must be in .STL format. 
Use Makerbot slicing software to prepare the file for the 3d printer. 
Change settings as appropriate in slicer software. 
Export the prepared file as .makerbot to a flash drive.  

Prepare the machine:
Turn on. 
Load the filament you want to use. 
Prepare the print bed if needed. 
Load file and start print.
Watch periodically to make sure it is printing as expected.

Day 1: 3d Design Software> Tinkercad

Autodesk Tinkercad

Tinkercad is a free 3d design platform where you can create or modify 3d design files. 

It is great for those new to 3d design and for fun learning for a wide range of age groups. There are practice projects and some readymade designs and design elements. You can do a lot of cool things in Tinkercad!!! Autodesk has other software for 3d professionals. 

During Day 1, we will do the following:

Create your Tinkercad account - choose personal account

Complete the Tinkercad Basic 3d Tutorials - start with Place it and continue until you complete 

Create two projects: 

  1. Choose your own letter, shape, or scribble (small for quick printing)
  2. Create an LED light stand with a shape attached. See the video demo:

Note: In the demo, the light stand is found under Assemblies. It is now in a section called Electronics. 

Create your Thingiverse account. You will need this tomorrow. Explore Thingiverse and save at least 3 files as favorites. 

If you have time -

Challenge: Export a .stl file from Thingiverse and import into Tinkercad. Modify the file by adding, removing, resizing or otherwise altering the file. 

Other Things to Try

Search the library collection for Maker related books, videos, more.

Explore the Collaboratory and ask questions. 

Check out the Gallery.

What interests you? Let your curiosity take a look around Thingiverse and Tinkercad.

Try some other 3D databases.

Check out the CCSF 3d Manual.

Day 2: Makerbot Slicer Software and Hands-On Printing

Day 2

Part 1 Prepare your file

There are two slicer programs you can use: Makerbot Print and Makerbot CloudPrint. We will use CloudPrint. This will enable your access to the print software and allow you to save and share files in Thingiverse.You will be able to use the logins you created for Thingiverse.

Export your file from Tinkercad as an stl file. 

Go to CloudPrint to prepare your file. Log in using your Thingiverse logins.

Here is a video of how I prepped my file. 

Basic print file setup:

  • Add Raft
  • Add Supports
  • 10% infill
  • Make sure temp is 210 degrees.
  • Preview. 
  • Export 

File format will be *.makerbot

Save to flash drive with your name as the file name if someone else will be printing it. 

Part 2 Print your file

Turn on 3d printer. 

Set up filament as needed. Make sure print bed is prepped with painter's tape. 

Insert flash drive into printer USB slot. 

Choose the file to print from the printer menu and start the print process. 

Check on file periodically to make sure it is printing as expected. 

When you are not printing: 

Try a different tool in the collaboratory. 

Explore Thingiverse

Try Blender

Ponder the universe!

Access and Projects


Thingiverse Education

Nasa 3d Models

African Fossils

Community Access to 3d Printers

3d Printing at SFPL

South San Francisco Library

San Mateo County Libraries

Library & Learning Resources, City College of San Francisco
50 Frida Kahlo Way, San Francisco, CA 94112 | 415-452-5541

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