Make Salt Lake owes its existence to the 3D printer Lab. Years ago, when MSL was formed, the first tool purchased was a 3D printer. In fact, the very reason for starting the collective that eventually became Make Salt Lake was to split cost on a 3D printer and share it amongst the members. Since then, MSL has come a very long way with its 3D printer set up. Currently we have three 3D printers that can all run simultaneously. Two of them, adoringly named Frick and Frack, are custom built models, designed and constructed by one of our members. The other one is a Creality machine that has been modified by our 3D printing gurus and made into a much higher quality machine. All 3 are professional level machines that produce extremely accurate and high quality prints.
Frick and Frack, our two custom-made 3D printers were designed and put together by Thomas Dixon, a member of Make Salt Lake for many years. Their existence, in part, is due to the donation of two older, lower quality machines called ROBO 3D printers. Those two machines were disassembled and scavenged for parts while a third machine was put to work. A 3D printer put on loan to the space at the time was tasked with printing all of the parts for the new 3D printers. All of the brackets, clips, bracing, mounts, and just about every part that isn’t electronic was 3D printed using that loaned printer. Once Frick and Frack were completed, they have since been responsible for printing their own replacement parts and pieces.
What do you need to make a successful 3D print? Well, first you need the printer. We currently have 3 of those set up and running and available for our members to use. Then, you need the material. Members usually provide their own 3D printer filament, but we have many recommendations about where to get the right material, and what the best type would be for your project. Finally, you need a design. There are thousands of designs available on the internet through sites like Thingiverse and others. But we also have programs, like Fusion 360, Solidworks (coming soon), Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape, Slicer and more!
3D printers’ main limitations are your imagination! These printers can produce anything from meticulously designed machine parts, to masks and costumes, to models of the human brain. If you can design it, you can print it!
The 3D Print Lab has a certification class that is required before any member uses the equipment. The free certification class is held every other Saturday. You can sign up for the class by going to meetup.com/MakeSaltLake and navigating to the proper event.