NO, Miami University Libraries will not print a working firearm or the constituent parts to build your own "ghost" firearm.
3D printing refers to rapid prototyping - creating a physical 3-dimensional object from a digital model. There are several types of 3D printers. The printer that we use is the MakerBot Replicator which performs Fused Deposition Modeling - FDM to create the final 3d printed object. In this method, a lightweight plastic filament that when fed through the nozzle is heated up to its melting point and then extruded onto a build plate surface, hardening upon impact. This process continues, depositing the melted filament layer by layer until a 3-dimensional object is formed.
3D prints can be found useful in numerous applications, such as prototypes for entrepreneurs, architectural models for class projects and for any other low-volume, custom-prototype needs. Here are some examples of practice use in an educational environment:
Our 3D printers are open to all currently enrolled Miami University students, Faculty and Staff in all disciplines. The actual printing process is done through our consultants located at either King Library, the CIM lab or BEST Library.
For any build, at least three days to a week lead time is strongly recommended. This allows time for troubleshooting at various stages of the build process. While we will work with you to make shorter timeframes, we cannot make guarantees for when a build will be finished. For some prints – particularly larger objects on the smaller print volume platforms – the build process is less reliable than our professional printer and it sometimes takes more than one attempt or build tactic. The printers also require considerable maintenance to keep running reliably, and they may need to be taken offline unexpectedly.
We often find that submitted CAD models have flaws which need to be corrected before printing. (In our experience this is often the case with SketchUp models, though it can happen with any software.) Sometimes this is not apparent onscreen and is undiscovered until we attempt to print the model. In these cases we will work with you to correct the flaws in the model. This of course also slows turnaround time.