Skip to 0 minutes and 12 secondsSo when we're designing for 3D printing, we typically start in some sort of CAD software. So in this case, we'll be using 3D modelling software, and what we're going to do here is we're going to create the Future Learn logo. So in designing from first principles, we create a series of lines which will be the outline for the text and the ladder structure, and we actually extrude that or build that, and create volume from it. So we create a two-dimensional sketch, and we expand it out, in this case up to 15 millimetres. From this point, we save the file and convert it to an stl. That's the standard format for all 3D printing processes.

Skip to 0 minutes and 56 secondsWith the file saved, we then import it into the software that we're going to be using to 3D print the structure. In this case, it's called matter control, and it links up to our 3D printer here. So this is a typical FDM printer-- that's fused deposition modelling-- and takes a pre-formed thermoplastic filament and deposits layer by layer the 3D cross-sections that we've designed. So once we've imported it, we can view the layout that we've created. We can position it where we'd like it on the bed, and we can control a series of parameters about how it's going to print.

Skip to 1 minute and 30 secondsWe can change the material it'll print in, the speed it will print in, and the density of the material that we're going to be printing. In this case, we're just going to be using standard typical parameters for PLA.

Designing for 3D printing

3D modelling software is integral to the evolution of bioprinting. Many of you may have already used 3D modelling software and printed out your own models on your own printers.

Community spaces such as makerspaces and hackerspaces, are creative, DIY spaces where people can gather to create, invent, and learn. Search online and see if there is one in your area that has access to a 3D printer. Your local library may have a 3D printer and software. If you do find something in your area please share what you find in the comments area.

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This video is from the free online course:

Bioprinting: 3D Printing Body Parts

University of Wollongong