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UF Libraries 3D Lab: DIY 3D Printing

Find a 3D Model

Here are some websites to find a model already created for 3D printing/viewing.  Note that you need to have an .stl format file to print.


3D Modeling Software -- Make your own

We recommend these softwares for creating 3D models intended for printing. Most are completely free while some require you to create a free account. Export your final model as a .STL in Binary format before submitting!

3D Model Repair Software - Check before submitting!

Need to repair a model to make it printable? Here are some great resources for fixing surface orientations, fill holes, and other adjustments before printing. 

Helpful 3D Prototyping Terms

CAD: is the use of computers (or workstations) to aid in the creation, modification, analysis or optimization of a design.

Build Plate: The surface on which models are printed

Extruder: is the part of the 3D printer that ejects material in a semi-liquid form in order to deposit it in successive layers within the 3D printing volume.

Filament – the wire-shaped build material (usually plastic) that is melted to make the object

Infill – the value (in a percentage) of how solid the object will be - with our software, the standard resolution is 10% and high resolution is 15%




PLA – polylactic acid – the type of plastic (usually made from sugar cane or corn starch) we use to build 3D models

Raft – disposable base of a print job, the object is built on top of it (a raft is required of all jobs in the libraries)

Resolution – the layer of thickness and fine detail of the object. High resolution (0.1mm) uses more material than standard (0.2mm) or low (0.3mm) resolution.

Shells – the outlines printed on each layer of the object

Solidworks – a software for Computer-Aided Design.  Engineers' choice.

Spaghetti – our slang term for stringy filament that results from a failed print

STL file – file format used by most 3D printers.  short for "stereolithograph"

Supports – disposable parts of a print job that are used to support sloping or overhanging parts

Thingiverse – one website where 3D models are loaded and shared

TinkerCAD – a free, online 3D modeling resource.  easy to learn and use.


Tutorials & Tips

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