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3D Printing

Welcome to the LPMS STEM Lab 3D Design & Printing Page!

     In class we will be using a Makerbot Digitizer and a MakerBot 5th Gen 3D Printer.  The software to operate these machines is available as a free download.  We will be using Sketchup, which is also available for free, to create our 3D designs.

     So what is 3D design and 3D printing all about?  Can I make 3D designs and prints just for fun?  Sure!  Should I be desinging and printing items to help me with a project or solve a problem?  ABSOLUTLEY!!  While 3D prinitng is A LOT of fun, in class its main purpose should be a tool to help us solve problems.  Building parts for a Solar Sprint car, creating a case for a littleBits project, or designing and manufacturing an item to sell in the school store to raise money for operating costs of the 3D printer are all appropriate uses of the 3D printer. 

     Do I have to design everything I Print?  NO!  There are a number of web sites on the internet that allow people to download and print items that have been created by other people for FREE!  Check out thingiverse.com or solidoodles.com for things that you may need to use for a project.  There is a movement of people who call themselves "Makers,"  who create and share for the benefit of everyone who post items they have created on these websites.  You may want to share some of your designs as well.  Please make sure to get parental permission to create an account on one of these sites if you plan on sharing!

     We will be using Sketchup to create our 3D designs but this is not the only software available.  Look into the AutoDesk 123D suite for programs and apps that will allow you to make 3D designs for printing.  Also, check out TinkerCAD.  These prgrams are also free, but not used as much in class.  You are free to explore with these programs and apps.  If you do, please share with class!!