There are an ever growing number of 3D printers in todays market. The technology is exciting and the use of the 3D modeling and printing technologies are rapidly growing in to a wide range of career fields. At the Spark we currently have fused deposition modeling or FDM 3D printers in our collection. FDM printers use a material extrusion process which involves the heating of a thermoplastic through the use of a hot end. The thermoplastic is generally referred to as a filament, and once it passes through the heated hot end it melts and is extruded in thin layers on to a printer bed. The Gcode, which is the coded language that tells the printer where to extrude the filament, outlines the steps for the printer building the .stl model layer by layer.
At the Spark we offer two styles of 3D printing services; Full Service and Self Service. Full service 3D printing at the Spark is designed to be a paid service. At $1 per print hour, the Spark staff handles set up of the 3D printer as well as oversite of the job in progress. On the other hand, The Spark offers access to Self Service 3D printers, which require training and check out, but allow for you to set up and manage your print on your own. The flexibility of the set up allows you to choose the service that will fit your needs. More details regarding each service is outlined below.
The Full service 3D printing at The Spark, is processed through an online queue. Submission to the queue can be placed at https://sparkorders.library.unt.edu Full service within the Spark generally cost $1.00 per print hour and includes:
*TPU and other blended filaments are generally only in when a specific request is made or we are running a test with the materials. IT usually takes about 7-10 days to get in a filament when a special request is put in.
**We keep a number of the more commonly requested colors on hand of ABS and or PLA. See the chart below for the colors we generally have in our inventory. We can also order colors if a full service request comes in generally it takes 7-10 days to get a color in.
|Black||ABS, PLA, TPU|
|Blue (True, Ocean, Light)||ABS, PLA|
|Gray (Light and Dark)||PLA|
|Green (Lime, Silk, True)||PLA|
|Red||ABS, PLA, TPU|
|Transparent||ABS, PLA, PETG|
|Transparent tinted (Blue, Green Orange, Yellow)||
|White||ABS, PETG, PLA, TPU|
Please see the information below regarding the 3D printers we have in our collection.
Requires training. Schedule an in person training appointment.
The Self Service 3D printers at The Spark are available for trained UNT community members to use. Self Service is for those of you who are already familiar with 3D printers, 3D modeling, .stl file creation, Slicing and gcodes. Self service does require that you go through training, and that you consistently demonstrate respect for the machines, procedures, and best practices for using the printers. Self Service 3D printers are in space circulation items, which means the printer is checked out to you for use in The Spark location. Self Service is provided at no cost to you and includes:
The circulation process for the self service printers begin with a safety and use training. If you already have been trained the blue binder is always available at the front desk as a reference or you can request a retraining. Also, the profile for CURA is available for download here. It is highly recommended that you slice your file and have an idea of how many grams of filament you may need to complete your print before coming in to check out a printer/filament.