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Obtaining 3D Models
Many ready-to-print 3d models are available for download through free online resource-sharing sites. Some of the most popular ones are listed here.
NIH 3D Print Exchange
Repository for 3D models of objects related to the biomedical sciences, curated by the National Institutes of Health. Major collections include Prosthetics, Neuroscience, Heart Library, and Molecule of the Month.
Popular repository for sharing 3d models, with over 1 million files available for download.
Another large general-purpose repository of 3D models. (Has been noted to have some issues with allowing users to post models containing copyrighted content, so be aware library staff must decline any print job that is determined to infringe copyright.)
Repository of models designed specifically for the Zortrax printer.
Repository of 3D printable objects that add functionality to pieces of IKEA furniture, designed to help people with special needs and disabilities. The 7-Zip program (available through SMHS Software Center) is needed to extract the .STL files.
Creating Your Own 3D Models
Depending on your project, there may not be any pre-rendered models that meet your needs. You may need to alter an existing model or generate a new model from scratch using computer-aided design (CAD) software. Some free options for CAD software are listed here.
Blender is a widely-used free toolkit for creating 3D models that can be used for printing. There is a bit of a learning curve, but there are lots of tutorials online to help you get started.
Tinkercad is a web-based CAD (computer-aided design) app that you can use to generate your own 3d models. Registration is required but free.
Free downloadable CAD software for Windows, Mac, and Linux.