3D printing without a printer

How to Get Things 3D Printed Without a Printer

No printer? No problem.

Want to build a cool project but it requires a 3D-printed part? No worries! There are tons of ways to get a 3D model printed without having a printer. This short guide will show you some of your options.

1

Using a 3D printing service

Many online services such as Sculpteo exist that will print your model and ship it to you. You pay a small fee based on the size and complexity of the model, choose your print colors, and receive the model in just a few days.

2

3D printing at a makerspace
3D printing at the Tampa Hackerspace.

A hackerspace, or "makerspace", is a private organization comprised of members who share a shared workspace and, generally, the interest of building things.

Chances are there's one near you. Members normally pay a monthly fee, but most have "Open Make Nights" where you can pop in and use the equipment without needing a membership. You can find your local hackerspace using this tool, which lists over 2,000 hackerspaces.

3

Library 3D printing
3D printers at the Libbie Mill Library.

In an effort to remain a relevant community resource, many public libraries now have 3D printers available for use! Find your local library and call the information desk to ask if they have any 3D printers available.

If you're a student, your university can likely provide you with access to one. Call your university library's information desk and they can direct you to the college/department that will give you access.

4

Many 3D printing businesses and professionals advertise their printing services on Craigslist. Most charge you when you pick up the model. Be sure to ask for references or photos of their work.

5

Budget Ender 3 3D printer

If cost is the primary reason you don't have a 3D printer, you may not know how low prices have gotten. In the last few years, 3D printers have come way down in price. I picked up my Creality Ender 3 for $179 on GearBest. I also wrote a full Ender 3 review if you want to check it out!