The Studio
The perfect venue to release your creative talents.

For those that are interested in 3D modelling to produce “plastic” parts on the 3D printer, here is a list of free 3D software that you might like to explore on your own. We have the following materials: white PLA - the best for learning with but will warp with heat. ABS - much stronger than PLA and heat resistant to warping. PETG - probably the strongest plastic we have available.

We have a Wanhao i3 Ver 2 machine.Our build dimensions are 200mm x 200mm x 180mm. If you were to print something that size it would take over FIVE days with 100% fill and well over a day with a 10% fill - Not feasible.So keep any objects within the bounds of reality.

Please note that The 3D printer needs either an .stl or .obj file so you need a programme that supports these file outputs.

  • FreeCad
  • Sketchup - Awkward interface. Steep learning curve but has a huge resource library. You need to sign up to access both. So maybe download a file into Sketchup and export in either of the above formats.
  • Blender
  • Fusion 360 - Part of the huge conglomerate of Autodesk  A true CAD programme.
  • Thingiverse by Makerbot has lots of free 3D models
  • Modo by The Foundry - Free one month test, if you get another email address you can download again next month and so on (you didn’t hear that from me!) A very extensive programme that does far more than you will ever need. Its Fusion facility within the programme is great at creating and combining objects for 3d printing
  • You will also need CURA - a 3D slicing programme that outputs the unicode file that the printer needs. Into this software you put your machine type, what material you are using, whether you want support material or not. It has a funny quirk in that it imports the files at 10% of the size you need, so the first thing you do is scale your model up by 1000%.

I will try and arrange a training session at the new Makerspace in the new Noosa Library where they have 7 3D printers. Once it opens and they have ironed all the bugs out. Might be best to wait until next year.