Friday, May 23, 2014

3D Printing Now At UCPL


On Wednesday, 5/7, we dove into our brand-new 5th Generation 3D printer, taking pictures along the way.  Unboxing the unit was very easy, as the printer itself does not weigh much.

Front View:

Top View:

Instruction Card:

“Natural” color filament that comes with the printer:

The Smart Extruder connects directly to the printer without any clips, screws, or other attachments.  It’s completely magnetic!  Following the instructions, attached the filament, fed through the guide tube, and powered on the unit.

Turning it on:

Following on-screen directions:

Leveling the build plate:

Keep your hands on the knob and don't remove until directed.

Heating the Extruder:

Close-up of screen:

(notice the target temperature is 230 Celsius.  That’s 446 Fahrenheit!)

On subsequent screens, we load the filament into the extruder and now ready to print.  Connectivity comes in multiple options: USB Cabled, Ethernet, USB Flash, and coming soon Wireless. 

MakerBot software and documentation is available for download from the MakerBot website. 
We proceeded with following the steps for printing the Queen Anne Coffee Table found on Thingiverse:

The mascot for the library is the University City Lion, we searched for a lion head to print next and found one here:    BTW, it turned out great!!

One question arose in regards to whether or not the filament needed to be removed from the extruder after each print or if it could stay loaded.  I didn’t see anywhere in the documentation that addressed the question, so after calling MakerBot support directly, I learned that the recommendation is to leave the filament loaded. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Washington University supports UCPL's Public Library Transformation grant from MOREnet

The University City Public Library would like to thank Washington University for their generous donation of $5,000 as a match for our MOREnet Public Library transformation grant.  The MOREnet grant, along with Wash U’s donation, will help the University City Public Library offer area residents a chance  to explore, create, invent, and learn, using our 3D printer and scanner, a variety of audio / video editing software, and a suite of online training videos from
We’re grateful for the support and excited about the future.