3D Printing - The community college in VA for RP.


  • What is 3D printing? Anything we can draw as a 3D solid model one one of our CAD programs can be fabricated on one of our four rapid prototypers in a new and interesting way. Once the file is sent, the part is built layer by layer from the bottom up. Layers can be thinner than a human hair. The machine then hardens the material, adds another layer, and continues the process until the part is complete. The complexity of the part is not an issue and assembled moving parts can be made with our machines.

    • DCC currently has eight 3D printers. They are housed in the drafting, science, and workforce service areas of the college.   

Lulzbot The Lulzbot Taz5 (watch the video) is our newest 3D printer. We purchased the machine with two heads so it will extrude both build and support material. The support material is known as high impact polystyrene (HIPS) which dissolves in limonene.




The Dimension printer (watch one in action on Youtube) melts an ABS plastic and extrudes the material into the desired shape. we have two of these machines as they are very durable.  




  afiniaThe Afinia machine (watch the video) is our small, portable workhorse. It has held up well and is easily transportable. Our department purchased one for each of our high school feeder programs two years ago.


    • The SLS prototyper (watch it in action) from 3DSystems melts each layer with a laser. It was the first 3D printer we purchased way back in 2003 and was retired in 2015. It has a large build packet and will also make metal parts.sls








3D printing has gone through some major changes in the last few years. Materials used in the process now include carbon fiber and material infused with wood, aluminum, and copper. The first electric car body was built in 2015 and startup companies are building houses with large 3D printers that are extruding concrete. Researchers are even experimenting with building human body parts. Check out the Youtube videos below.

Building a car body

Building concrete houses

3D printing of human body parts


For further information, please contact:
Robert Huffman - Professor of Drafting and Design

Work - 434-797-8548


1008 South Main St., Danville, VA 24541  |  434.797.2222  |  TTY: 434.797.8542  |  FAX: 434.797.8541  |  Toll-Free: 1.800.560.4291
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