The Ultimaker 3D printer can be found in the Weathertech Innovation Lab on the first floor of the Rebecca Crown Library. It is an FFF printer (Fused Filament Fabrication), which works by extruding hot molten plastic through a nozzle to build objects one thin layer at a time. This printer is fast and easy to use, which makes it ideal for making prototypes and basic proof-of-concept models. Standard materials for this printer are PLA (polylactic acid) and ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) plastic, both of which will create strong, durable prints. Our printer works in tandem with a slicing program called Ultimaker Cura which will prepare your 3D model to be printed (see next tab on this page).
Ultimaker Cura is a slicing program that prepares your 3D model to be printed by an Ultimaker Printer. The program divides, or "slices." the 3D model into thin layers and it sets the path that the machine's nozzle will follow as it deposits each layer. Cura can also generate a support structure for parts of the model that overhang. The support structure is easily removable by hand or with tools after printing is complete.
The Form 3+ is a professional grade SLA 3D printer and is available free of charge at the Weathertech Innovation Lab on the first floor of the Rebecca Crown Library. The workflow for this printer is significantly different from the Ultimaker printer, due to the technology and materials it uses. Fortunately, the process is almost completely automated, making printing very easy for the user. SLA printing uses liquid resin cured with a precise ultraviolet laser to create highly detailed parts. Resin printed parts require post-processing using the FormWash and FormCure machines, also located in the Lab.
The Form 3+ printer has its own proprietary software called PreForm, used for slicing and preparing 3D models for printing. With one click, PreForm can automatically generate support structure and orient the model for you, or if you wish, you can customize these settings manually. You may access PreForm in the Innovation Lab by logging into the desktop computer located next to the Form 3+ printer. When you are finished preparing your model, you can upload it to the printer and start your print easily.
7900 West Division Street
River Forest, IL 60305
T: (708) 524-6876