A 3D Printer is a manufacturing tool used to create three-dimensional artifacts that have been designed on a computer. The most common type of 3D printing is Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), which works by depositing melted plastic layer by layer from the bottom up to create an object - imagine that it is like a fancy, computerized hot glue gun.
The best part is that using the 3D printers in the Clemson Makerspace is free!
3D printing does have limitations:
you're somewhat limited in size (on a Mini: 6x6x7"; on a Pro: 11x11x11")
complicated objects require multiple pieces and prints
color is dictated by filament color (but you can paint the objects)
you can't print into space so you need supports for some objects.
3D Printers are located in both the Watt Makerspace and the Adobe Studio & Makerspace.
If you need help at any point, just ask one of the Makerspace interns! We are very friendly and we are here to help.
Use the 3D printer to create replacement parts, household helpers (ex: sponge holders for the kitchen sink), personalized objects (ex: keychain with your initials), models and replicas, jewelry - you name it!
3D Printing Overview
You do not need to know how to use 3D modeling software to be able to 3D print! There are websites with free models that you can download and print. The Clemson Makerspace has 30+ 3D printers and they are all free to use. You can visit Watt Makerspace (in the Watt Center, on the first floor) or Cooper Makerspace (in Cooper Library, on the fifth floor) to find the 3D printers. 3D printers are first-come, first-served.
Select a 3D model
Find an object you want to 3D print on Thingiverse. Other repositories include MyMiniFactory, YouMagine, GrabCAD, CGTrader.
Check for complexity of object (number of parts, size)
Download the .stl file
Modify or create your 3D file
(optional) Use Tinkercad to modify your Thingiverse object or to make your own!
Tinkercad is extremely beginner-friendly. Use Tinkercad's built-in tutorials to learn or just start by playing around.
When you're done, export your model as a .stl file
Visit the Makerspace
When you’re ready to 3D print, visit Watt or Cooper Makerspace and pull up Cura on one of the computers. Cura is the software we use to prepare 3D prints - a process called “slicing”
Load the .stl of your design onto the computer, into Cura. Make sure your part is oriented properly.
Save the .gcode to an SD card. Ask an intern to start your print.
3D Print Status
Use the table below to check whether we have printers available. We try to keep this as accurate as possible but there will be times where it's off.