3D Printing at the NExT Lab

Learn and skill up in using 3D Printing workflows at the NExT Lab

3D printing is a manufacturing process that allows you to create a physical object from a digital model. This enables you to produce complex yet functional shapes cheaply and without needing a detailed understanding of manufacturing. This digital-to-physical workflow is known as digital fabrication.

There are two main methods used for digital fabrication at the MSD and within industry: Subtractive and Additive processes. Subtractive processes remove material from a solid block. An example is a CNC machine which uses a computer-guided drill to sculpt a model from a solid material. 3D Printing is an Additive process because it builds a model from material. A very small computer-controlled nozzle is used to lay down plastic layer by layer.

Today, more industries and design schools are embracing digital fabrication and 3D printing in the design process, using it for anything from design exploration, prototyping, and exhibition models, to both small and large-scale fabrication. Compared to traditional manufacturing techniques, 3D printing and digital fabrication present new and exciting potentials!

Advantages of 3D Printing

Complex Forms

3D Printing enables the fabrication of complex, intricate and detailed designs. Geometries benefit from the direct digital-to-physical workflow.

Iteration & Customisation

Take advantage of the digital fabrication workflow. Digital models can be rapidly manipulated and generated, used as quickly as they can be printed. This can also be used for mass customisation and adaptive designs.

Functioning Models

3D printed models can be used as printed; they don't need further processing. This makes them useful as prototypes, functional products or as part of a fabrication process.

Replicable Models

As a computer-controlled process, the same model can be accurately produced to designed tolerances - models can be hot-swapped to present an array of options.


3D printing outcomes are mostly determined before they even reach the printer; digital model-making instead of physical model-making. It requires less oversight compared model-making via hand or laser cutting as the machine is automated, making it an accessible process.

3D Printing at the NExT Lab

The NExT Lab hosts the following 3D printing options.




3D Print Farm

Submit your prepared files for printing.

Makerbot Replicator Family

Standard 3D Printing

Makerbot Method

High Quality 3D Printing Dissolvable Supports

Experimental Extruders

BYO Experimental Materials

Open Access

Hands on access to the machines and workflow.

Prusa Family

High Quality 3D Printing Experimental Materials Experimental Workflows


Dual Material Printing Dissolvable Supports

Belt Printer

Infinite Horizontal Printing

Get Started

Once you have found the technology or workflow that is right for you, complete the necessary training or inductions through our Training LMS.

All 3D Printing begins with an understanding of 3D printing concepts:

pageDesign Approaches

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