3D Printing

We do 3D printing at Ace Makerspace! Whether you’re a 3D whiz kid or just wondering what all the buzz is about, we’re here to help.

The 3D printers are located upstairs in suite 214. The computer to the right is dedicated to 3D printer use and contains all the necessary print software.

We have three printers available. We also have a good supply of materials and good relationships with filament suppliers.

It’s all about design

After the excitement of printing that cool paperweight that you found on the Internet fades, you’ll start thinking about designing your own creations. Too many folks get stuck here. The design tools can be daunting (and expensive).

Never fear. A number of our volunteers are experienced designers (or at least, we think so).  We’ll get you moving in the right direction, whether you’re into technical gadgetry, artistic sculpture or anything in between. The key is knowing which corners of that monstrously complex software are really important.

But it’s really all about people

Twice monthly we host a meeting called “3D Print 101 and Hangout.” We start with a structured class that explains how to use the printers and Ace’s policies.

The remainder of the meeting is unstructured; driven by whatever the attendees want. Bring your questions, problems or projects for show and tell.

We’ll help with your printer too

Having trouble with a printer you recently acquired? We can help. Bring your questions at least. Better yet, bring your printer in. We’ll see if we can diagnose any problems and show you the tricks the manual left out.

You can even build your own

Yes, seriously, you can do it! Most of the 3D printers sold today have their roots in the open-source, community-driven project called RepRap (Replicating Rapid Prototyper).  You use a 3D printer to make parts for making another 3D printer; thus our Rapid Prototyping tool can Replicate itself. How cool is that?

There are hundreds of designs to choose from.  Your tool steward has built a few printers from scratch and assisted with the construction and tuning of several others.  Thanks to inexpensive far-east manufacturing, some printer kits are available for as little as $200.00 now, so the financial barrier is lower than ever.  Come to our meeting to see one in action yourself!