On this page, you will find the following information:
For information about using the IDEA Lab's facilities, refer to the 3D Printing at the IDEA Lab tab, the FAQs tab, and The IDEA Lab @ Grainger tab, which takes you to the main website. Other resources on campus and in the area can be found on the 3D Printing Resources in Champaign-Urbana tab.
Fused deposition modeling (FDM) is the most commonly used 3D printing technology. These 3D printers feed filament (thermoplastic that melts when heated) through an extruder head to print layers of material into a three-dimensional object. The filament is heated to melting point, then extruded onto a printing bed based on precise plot points. Subsequent layers of filament fuses with layers already printed, and the filament hardens as it cools.
There are other types of 3D printers, such as resin printers. Resin printers utilize photosensitive resin instead of filament. The liquid resin is exposed to UV light in order to create and harden each layer.
3D printing is useful for rapid prototyping.
3D printing is for everyone!
3D scanners allow you to reverse engineer an object (including the human body) or space. These scans can be turned into .stl files to be printed with the 3D printers. The IDEA Lab owns an Artec Leo structured-light mobile and handheld 3D scanner, which is available for use by anyone affiliated with the U of I. Watch the video below for more information on this scanner.