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3D Printing: 3D Printing Resources

A guide to 3D printing at Joyner Library.

Community Forums

The 3D printing community is a dedicated group of individuals who freely share tips, tricks, and ideas. Searching the forums can help shorten the learning curve.

If you find another forum, let us know! We'll add it to the list.

A Note About Slicing

In a nutshell, "slicing" your 3D model means taking your design (usually in .stl format) and slicing it into individual layers. It then generates the machine code the printer will use for printing. Each slicer has its strengths and weaknesses, but here are the most common:

Makerbot Desktop -- Easy and intuitive to use but is limited to MakerBot 3D printers or clones like FlashForge.

Cura -- Open-source printer control software developed by Ultimaker, but can be used with other 3D printers. Intuitive, fast and easy to use. 

Slic3r -- Popular, open-source that works with many printers. It's fast and generates good results, but settings need some tweaking. 

Simplify 3D ($) -- Many believe it's worth the $149 price tag. All-in-one printer control software that slices, controls your printer and repairs files.

3D Model Warehouses

You can search for pre-existing models on the Internet to print as they are, or modify using 3D modeling software.

You can find additional lists of dozens of 3D model warehouses and repositories at 3D Printing for Beginners, HongKiat, and

3D Printing Help


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Text Message:  Send a text to (252) 391-8428.

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Phone:  Call our Research desk at (252) 328-6076.

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Email:  Email us at

  We will answer you within 24 hours when classes are in session.


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Schedule a 3D Printing Consultation:

We are only available to consult in person at this time:

Visit the Consultation Request tab for more information.