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Makerspace

The RDC Makerspace is a place to learn through exploration, innovation, and creation.

3D Printers

The RDC Makerspace has five 3D printers.  

Ultimaker Original 

Ultimaker 3 Extended

Creality 3D  CR10 Mini 

3D printers are available to RDC students, faculty, and staff, and the public, to make three-dimensional objects in filament using a design uploaded from a digital file. 

  • Prior to using the 3D printers you must complete a mandatory 3D Printing Orientation QuizA Code of Conduct and Safety Quiz and sign a Makerspace User Agreement.  
  • 3D printing services are offered in a non-commercial capacity.  Mass quantity printouts will be referred to a commercial company or RDC's Centre for Innovation and Manufacturing (CIM).
  • Student assignments take priority over other 3D printing jobs.
  • Uploaded files will be deleted once your object has been printed.  

Use of the 3D printers must conform to all Red Deer College Policies, specifically, but not limited to:

3D printers are to be operated by RDC Makerspace Technicians only.

RDC Makerspace 3D printers may be used only for lawful purposes and RDC reserves the right to refuse any print request. The printers cannot be used to create material that is:

  1. Prohibited by provincial or federal law.
  2. Unsafe, harmful, dangerous, or poses an immediate threat to the well-being of others.
  3. In violation of the intellectual property rights of others. For example, reproducing material that is subject to copyright, patent, or trademark protection.
  4. A weapon, in part or whole, or any object that can be mistaken for a weapon.
  5. Too large for the printer.
  6. Lewd, malicious, or otherwise unsuitable for creating a welcoming and inclusive public space.

Find out more about the Ultimaker Original

What is 3D printing?

3D printing is a process of taking a digital 3D design and turning that into a physical object. This is done using a 3D printer which manufactures the physical object using plastic or other material. The RDC Makerspace has three 3D printers (Ultimaker Original, Ultimaker 3 Extended and a Creality 3D CR10 Mini) which use plastic filament.

There are two common types of plastic filaments used in 3D printing, ABS and PLA. Think of this as the printer “ink” that forms your object. Filaments come in a variety of colours. The 3D printers in RDC Makerspace use PLA material derived from biodegradable resources such as corn starch; this material has less fumes.

Before a 3D model can be printed, it is sliced into layers. Each layer is then traced onto the build plate by the printer; once one layer is complete, the build plate is lowered and the next layer is added on top of the previous one.

Where do I start?

If you are new to 3D printing and wish to learn the basics, start with Tinkercad. It has easy, interactive tutorials which teach the basics of 3D modeling.

How do I use the 3D printer?

You will be required to complete a one-time mandatory 3D Printing orientation and sign a Makerspace User Agreement. Once you have passed the training with 100% and completed the User Agreement you can submit your jobs in person to a Makerspace Technician.You will be asked to complete a 3D Design Checklist and review your submission.

Please note: Operation of the 3D printers is restricted to the Makerspace Technicians.

What can I print? 

While the possibilities may seem endless, there are some limitations around printing. Some designs may be too large for our printers, or may not suitable for printing with PLA material.

The RDC Makerspace equipment may be used only for lawful purposes. Equipment cannot be used to create material that is:

  • Prohibited by provincial or federal law.
  • Unsafe, harmful, dangerous or poses an immediate threat to the well-being of others.
  • In violation of the intellectual property rights of others. For example, reproducing material that is subject to copyright, patent, or trademark protection.
  • A weapon, in part or whole, or any object that can be mistaken for a weapon.
  • Lewd, malicious or otherwise unsuitable for creating a welcoming and inclusive public space.

All objects printed from a 3D printer start off with a design created using Computer Aided Design(CAD) software. You can either find a design that is print-ready or you can design your own.

Create your own design

If you are creating your own design, choose a modeling software based on whether or not your model is solid or mesh. Examples of CAD software suitable for 3D printing include: 

Find a design

There are many websites that offer free or inexpensive 3D design which can be downloaded for printing, including:

Check your design

Most 3D design programs will create an STL file. If your file is not .STL you can convert it using a free 3D design file converter.

To minimize the risk of a failed print we recommend you run your design through a file-checking program to identify and repair mistakes prior to printing. These free programs will modify and repair .STL files:

Prepare your model for 3D printing

You can use Cura to prepare your model for 3D printing. This software will let you make adjustments to your design and will slice your design for printing. Cura can be downloaded for free and is also available on the Makerspace multimedia computers.

When you are ready to submit your design for printing please ensure the file meets these specifications:

  1. File dimensions must be provided in millimetres and the file format must be STL.
  2. Files must be submitted on a USB drive.
  3. Each separate part of your print request must be submitted as a single file.
  4. Submit a completed 3D Design Checklist with each file. 
  5. Any files we receive are assumed to be final versions and print-ready. Technicians will review the submission prior to printing and will follow up if modifications are required.
  6. Users are responsible for making any design modifications and resubmitting the changes. Technicians will not make modifications to a file on your behalf. Examples of modifications include:
    • Adding or removing elements
    • Increasing or decreasing the item size
  7. You will be notified if the design is incompatible with our equipment.
  8. In submitting digital files for printing, the user agrees to assume all responsibility for and shall hold the RDC harmless in, all matters related to patented, trademarked or copyrighted materials.

Limitations

  • Maximum size: 300 mm long x 220 mm wide x 300 mm high (11.8" x 8.6" x 11.8").
  • Maximum print time is 8 hours.
  • We will not permit use of personal filament.  
  • Personal jobs: limited to 100 grams per month.

Priority

Submissions will generally be printed on a first-come, first-served basis in the order they are received and approved. We endeavour to print the oldest item in the print queue first; however, priority will be given to RDC students and RDC related projects in the following order:

  1. Projects or assignments related to RDC coursework
  2. Other academic and personal RDC student, faculty, or staff projects

We reserve the right to reassign priorities as workload shifts.

Pickup

You will be notified by email when item(s) are ready for pickup. Your pickup date depends on a number of factors, including your position in the queue. We cannot guarantee pickup dates so please submit jobs well in advance.  

Items printed from the 3D printers: 

  • are presented as is, with no cleaning of raft or scaffold.
  • must be picked up within 3 days after email confirmation is sent.
  • must be picked up by the individual who submitted the print job. 

Items not picked up after 3 days will become the property of RDC and may be discarded.

Who can use the 3D printing service?

The service is offered to RDC students, faculty and staff as well as the Public. The public do need to register for a FREE Community Borrower card before they can use the service.

How much does it cost to print an object?

FREE. We have a selection of filament which can be used at no charge for small projects and at our discretion.  There is a limit of 100 grams per month for personal projects.

How long does 3D printing take? 

Printing a 3D object can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 24 hours, depending on the complexity of the design: the larger the file size, the longer the object will take to print. The RDC Makerspace has an 8-hour limit per design. Our 3D printers are designed for rapid prototyping (quick production of an object). Our 3D printers are popular, so plan ahead. 

After submitting your print job to a Makerspace Technician your job is assessed and added to the print queue. There is a waiting period before your 3D printed object is printed and ready for pickup. Student assignments will take priority in the print queue. You will receive an email when your 3D print job is available for pickup from the RDC Makerspace.

How soon will my item be ready for pickup?

Your pickup date depends on your position in the queue. We cannot guarantee pickup dates, so please submit jobs well in advance.

You will be notified by email when your item is ready for pickup. Any items not picked up within 3 days of the email notification will become the property of RDC and may be disposed of.

What if my job fails?

Sometimes designs do not print due to technical issues with the design. Makerspace Technicians will strive to identify issues prior to printing and may recommend revisions to your design. We cannot guarantee the success and quality of the printed object. 

What colours of filament are available?

Filament colour is subject to availability at the time of your request. The filament colours normally available include:

  • black
  • blue
  • gold
  • green
  • red
  • silver
  • white
  • yellow 
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