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3D Printing: Welcome

3D Printing

NIH Library Technology Hub
National Institutes of Health Library
Division of Library Services
Office of Research Services
Bldg.10, Room 1L-25, MSC 1150
Bethesda, MD 20892-1150

NIH 3D Modeling & Printing SIG and listserv

The NIH 3D Printing Special Interest Group (SIG) mission is to provide NIH with information on 3D modeling and printing resources, services, and technologies; to offer a forum for the exchange of information and ideas; and to promote awareness of the benefits of 3D printing technologies in fulfilling the NIH mission.

If you are interested in signing up for the 3D Modeling and Printing listserv, please send an email to “NIH LISTSERV (Commands Only)” (in the global address book) with the following in the body of the email:

Subscribe 3D-SIG-Lfirstname lastname

Be sure to replace firstname and lastname with your first name and your last name.


What's Happening at the NIH Library?

In 2014 the NIH Library offered a free 3D Printing Pilot as part of the opening of the new Technology Hub. The pilot was so popular, the NIH Library will continue to offer free work related 3D printing to NIH staff. People interested in using the printers are required to take the 3D Printing Orientation class, which is offered every month. The printers will continue as a first come first served self-service. To document printer usage, people are asked to sign in and rate their print job in the white binder found on the printer table.

What is 3D Printing?

3D printing is taking a 3D digital image and printing it as an actual object.

3D images can be designed using 3D editing software, downloaded from websites, scanned from physical models, or created by merging photos in some software packages. There is a wide range of software available for modeling with varying learning curves and prices. Please see our 3D Modeling tab for more information about what is available.

The printing, also known as additive manufacturing, involves building the object with small successive layers of material, i.e. PLA (polylactic acid), ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene), titanium, plaster, etc. There are printers available for every budget and need.

3D printing has a range of applications, especially in bioengineering. Examples of what has been printed include ears, tracheas, and tissue scaffolding.

It has been used in manufacturing and rapid prototype development for a while. Recent changes in size and price have made 3D printing more accessible to the general public. There are now lots of online communities and businesses to support new developers.

3D Printing Inspiring Innovation in Research

See the NIH Library's Printer in Action

Examples from the 3D Print Exchange