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Librarian's Guide to 3D Printing @ Your Library: What is 3D printing?

For Library Staff Workshops

What is 3D printing?

lab at UF
  • Fabrication of 3D models
  • Additive manufacturing
    • most commonly involves the extrusion of thin layers of plastic
  • Great for custom or low-volume production
  • Wide variety of materials and technologies

Workshop Slides

Many methods of printing

  • FFF -- fused filament fabrication
    • Most well-known type
    • Dominates the hobby market and lower-end "prosumer" printers
  • Stereolithography
    • Cures resin with near-UV lasers
  • SLS -- selective laser sintering
    • Binds powder to form a layer
  • exotic (non-plastic) filaments
    • precious metals
    • wood, paper
    • food, including chocolate
nailpolished cube

Lots of options

filament color chips
  • Many manufacturers
  • Many models per manufacturer
  • Wide price range


Some examples of 3D printing glossaries.  Each includes a mix of universal and local (printer-specific) terms.

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