Thanks to a grant from the Community Foundation of the Virginias, Inc., the library has a 3D printer that is available to the public. Users must complete training on using our Lulzbot Taz 5 before using the printer.
What kind of 3D printer does the Library use?
The Library’s 3D printer is a Lulzbot Taz 5. The LulzBot® TAZ is a versatile, high performance desktop 3D printer that include an all metal hot end and PEI print surface.
The Library’s 3D printer uses PLA and ABS filament. PLA (Polylactic Acid) is plastic made from corn starch. Because PLA is plant based, it biodegrades over time when exposed to continuous moisture. Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) is s very structurally sturdy, which is why it is used in things like camera housings, protective housings, packaging, and creating LEGOS.
Download or Make your Own Models to Print
We suggest the free website TinkerCad for learning how to make your own model.
Please remember that patterns/models posted on the internet may not print the same in different types of printer. For already completed models that can be downloaded we suggest the following sites:
- Thingiverse: One of the best-known platforms for 3D models, Thingiverse also has thousands of designs just waiting to be added to your D&D collection.
- Microsoft 3Dbuilder: Built into Windows 10, this app is for 3D modeling and printing. It allows you to print and modify any existing designs that are available in the integrated model library, so you can customise your miniatures as you see fit.
- TinkerCAD: Another popular 3D modeling website-based program with a sizable community. Similar to Thingiverse, there are thousands of designs to choose from.
- STL Finder: A simple search engine that will crawl the Web, bringing up hundreds of results for free 3D models from a variety of sources. You can also create an account to bookmark your favorite models for futur
- Youmagine: YouMagine is a community dedicated to open-source projects, encouraging its users to share, remix and work together. You’ll find all manner of free 3D models to download for 3D printing. STL and CAD files hosted here, including your run of the mill 3D printing knick-knacks. However, these trinkets rub shoulders with projects with a little more purpose. One example being OpenBionics’ Brunel Hand, a fully printable prosthetic hand designed to improve the lives of amputees.
- GrabCAD: The site offers tools that help users collaborate in the development of their 3D printer models. The 3D model repository is very popular among designers, but for the typical 3D printing enthusiast, the best part of the site is their library of 3D printer files — available as mostly free STL files and other formats — created by the expansive community of over a million engineers, designers and manufacturers.
- XYZ Printing free downloadables