The Science Division recently acquired a new "ZPrinter 450" 3D printer as part of an HHMI grant. This printer is manufactured by ZCORP and detailed technical information can be found on their website. What follows is a brief summary of its abilities.
The ZPrinter 450 is a 3D printer capable of printing full color 3 dimensional models. It works by printing the file in a series of very thin layers. It first lays down a layer of a dry plaster-like material, then the layer is "printed" with color inks and a binder that holds it all together. This process of layering is repeated until the part has been completely printed. The part then requires clean up and finish processing prior to its use. The printing process is basically ink jet technology that's been modified to make 3D models.
To Have a 3D Print Made for Your Class
If you are interested in printing a model to incorporate into your classroom teaching, Curricular Technology Specialists are available to assist you in locating or creating 3D projects that can enhance the learning experience.
To have a 3D print made, you will need a 3D file of the object you want. The printer works with a variety of different file formats: STL, VRML, 3DS, ZPR, PLY.
To have a model printed for your class, you will need to plan well ahead as minimum lead times once the file has been located or created, range from three days to a week depending on a number of factors including model size and complexity as well as demand for the machine's use. The largest single piece that can be made in one printing is 8"x8"x10", though larger finished pieces can be created by assembling them from smaller prints. To do so will require additional lead time in order to properly process the necessary pre-press files and to assemble and post process the parts once printed.
When sizing your 3D prints, we ask that you please be conscious of the relatively expensive costs of the consumables associated with using the Zprinter and plan accordingly. This will allow the maximum number of interested parties to print their work and enjoy the results of this exciting new technology.
If you would like more information about running a job through the printer please contact:
Doug Peterson x3172 firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like assistance in locating a 3D file or appropriate 3D software please contact your Curricular Technology Specialists
Visit the science office, Noyce 1232, to see some of our objects in person.