[Athen] 3D Printers

Sorensen, Neal B neal.sorensen at mnsu.edu
Wed May 29 08:05:11 PDT 2019

Now this is something I’ve recently become very interested in! I’ve been doing some printing mostly as a hobby, but it’s quite cool what can be created with one device. Here is a list of accessibly designed 3D Prints<https://all3dp.com/20-great-3d-prints-easy-accessibility/>. Also the possibility of creating tactile graphics would be very helpful in an Accessibility office. At AHG many years ago, I saw a photo of Saturn that was converted to a tactile graphic. It was really a nice use of the technology.

The cost of printers can vary quite a bit. If you’re looking for quality, my institution’s IT services lab has a bank of Ultimaker 2+ printers<https://ultimaker.com/en/products/ultimaker-2-plus>, which are quite nice, and an Ultimaker 3. The U3 is mostly different due to having two extruders, which allows for different colors or materials to be used in the same print job. If you’re looking to make something with just PLA or other material, a single extruder would work well. For something a little more “entry level,” a lot of people like the Creality Ender series<https://www.creality3donline.com/c/ender-series_0380> of printers.

3D printing can have a lot of complexity, I have been learning from a local makerspace in the last few months. The Ultimaker and other brands provide their own software for “Slicing” a model. That is, taking a 3D model and mapping out the print into individual layers. If you want more control (with a little more work) you can use Repeteir Host, which is open source and provides a LOT of control over your printing. It also comes with a healthy learning curve.

I’m excited by this thread! I’ve been kicking around the idea of making a more accessible office with 3D printing, making headphone hooks, adaptive pencil holders, etc, etc. The only limit is your print bed! 😉

Neal Sorensen
(pronouns: he, him, his)
Accessibility Resources
Minnesota State University, Mankato
132 Memorial Library
Mankato, MN 56001

Phone: (507) 389-2825
Fax: (507) 389-1199

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From: athen-list <athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu> On Behalf Of Johnson, Leslie
Sent: Wednesday, May 29, 2019 9:26 AM
To: athen-list at u.washington.edu
Subject: [Athen] 3D Printers


We are starting to entertain the idea of purchasing a 3D printer for our disability services office. I was wondering if others are using a 3D printer and if you have found a lot of benefit to having one? Also, does anyone have recommendations on a good 3D printer? Any other info that is good to know when it comes to 3D printing?


Leslie Johnson
Ability Access Specialist
Michigan State University
Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities
120 Bessey Hall
434 Farm Lane
East Lansing, MI 48824
P: 517.884.1911 | F: 517.432.3191
John5214 at msu.edu<mailto:John5214 at msu.edu>

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