What is 3D Printing?


3D Printing
, also referred to as additive manufacturing, is a technology that allows users to create solid, three-dimensional objects from a digital file. The object is created by layering “slices” of material until the object is complete. There are several available technologies currently in use, with the most common forms including:

  • "3D printed head"Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
  • Stereolithography (SLA)
  • Digital Light Processing (DLP)
  • Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
  • Selective Laser Melting (SLM)
  • Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM)
  • Electronic Beam Melting (EBM)

Materials Used
Depending on the technology used, there are many different materials that can be utilized for printing 3D objects. For example, FDM (aka Fused Filament Fabrication or FFF), one of the most popular and affordable 3D printing methods, commonly makes use of a thermoplastic filament but can also be used with materials ranging from ceramics, rubbers, metal alloys, and even edible materials. Other printing technologies available at Duke, such as SLA, make use of photopolymer resins that are cured via an ultraviolet laser.

3D Printers at the Co-Lab
The Innovation Co-Lab Studio features over 60 3D printers available for use 24/7 during the semester. For more details please visit the Innovation Co-Lab Studio Website.
Available 3D printers include:

  • 40 Ultimaker 2’s
  • 5 Ultimaker 2 Extended
  • 4 Ultimaker Go’s
  • 2 Makerbot 5th Gen
  • 1 Markforged
  • 5 Printerbots
  • 3 Formlabs 1
  • 2 Formlabs 2
  • 1 Open Gigabot
  • 1 Mcor ARKe