3D Printing

We do 3D printing at Ace Monster toys! Whether you’re a 3D-whiz-kid, or just wondering what all the buzz is about, we’re here to help.

The 3D printers are located in the Annex; in the front of room 113 alongside the Laser cutter.  The computer to the right is dedicated to 3D printer use, and contains all the necessary printing software.

We have two printers available, and a number of (ahem) project printers we can bring online as demand warrants. We also have a good supply of materials, and good relationships with filament suppliers.

It’s all about design

After the excitement of printing that cool paperweight you found on the Internet fades, you’ll start thinking about designing your own creations. Too many folks get stuck here.  The design tools can be daunting (and expensive).

Never fear.  A number of our volunteers are experienced designers (or at least, we think so).  We’ll get you moving in the right direction, whether you’re into technical gadgetry, artistic sculpture or anything in between. The key is knowing which corners of that monstrously complex software are really important.

But it’s really all about people

Twice monthly we host a casual unstructured meeting to just hang out and chat… or dive deep into technical issues if the mood strikes us. These meetings are driven by whatever the attendees want, so bring your questions, problems or projects, and we’ll see where we end up.

Anyone needing help getting started is encouraged to contact the steward.  We’ll arrange for a quick instructional session (15 minutes or so) to show you how to use the printers.  It’s not dangerous or terribly difficult but there are a few things to know.  We go through this at just about every meeting too, so you can always show up then too.

We do not have any classes planned at present, but your steward is thinking about it… Watch this space for news and announcements.

We’ll help with your printer too

Having trouble with a printer you recently acquired?  We can help.  Bring your questions at least.  Better yet, bring your printer in.  We’ll see if we can diagnose any problems, and show you the tricks the manual left out.

You can even build your own

Yes, seriously, you can do it! Most of the 3D printers sold today have their roots in the open-source, community driven project called RepRap (Replicating Rapid Prototyper).  You use a 3D printer to make parts for another 3D printer, thus our Rapid Prototyping tool can Replicate itself. How cool is that?

There are hundreds of designs to choose from.  Your tool steward has built two printers from scratch, and assisted with the construction and tuning of a few others.  Thanks to inexpensive far-east manufacturing, some printer kits are available for as little as $200.00 now, so the financial barrier is lower than ever.  Come to our meeting to see one in action yourself!

About the 3D Steward