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A division of AIM - Australian Interactive Multimedia


See also ServicesThingiverse / Educational

We're into 3D printers.

Our parent company AIM (Australian Interactive Multimedia) has been supplying digital equipment since 1984.

3D Printer Information We're into 3D printers.

We use and demonstrate 3D printers via our 3D printing partner channel.

If you're ready to find out more we'll point you in the right direction.

Scanners, Printers & Projectors Digital Imaging takes you to photo printing but then you want more!

3D Printing is a natural progression from the products we've supplied, we have a passion for 3D because you're creating objects not just photos.

Need a quote?

We'll always be competitive because we have our own warehouse and we hold real stock (not just data feeds).

Since 1984. Yes same ABN (33 006 341760) registered all that time ago. Deal with us with confidence.

We're always happy to show you the "Digital Imaging" products we sell via our parent company.


Please contact us (Australia only) for more information.

We've been creating web sites for our own business since we can remember. Our company was incorporated in 1984 so our team is experienced and knows what your business needs.


See also AboutThingiverse 

We're into 3D printers.

Our parent company AIM (Australian Interactive Multimedia) has been supplying digital equipment since 1984.

3D Printer information We're into 3D printers.

We use and demonstrate 3D printers via our 3D partner channel. If you're ready to find out more we'll point you in the right direction. We want to lean, learn and share. L3D uses and demonstrates 3D printers via our 3D partner channel. If you're ready to find out more we'll point you in the right direction.

Training Does your school or business need a staff trainer?

We can attend and get you up to speed quickly. You'll find printing in 3D very addictive!

Test Prints

Want to print some samples remotely? We can set up an account, get the printer ready then you can see your job being printed. We charge for this service but offer a partial refund towards a 3D printer purchase. 

E D U C A T I O N A L   3 D   P R I N T I N G

See also AboutFAQ / Thingiverse

3D printers to enrich teaching, 3D creative print also allows Mathematics to be taught in a fun way.

The South Korean government is drawing up a 10-year plan to promote and develop 3D printing into a new growth market, and help transform the manufacturing sector. According to the Yonhap, the ministry in June said it planned to deploy 3D printers at 227 libraries and 5,885 schools across the country by 2017, and is targeting for 10 million South Koreans to use 3D printers by 2020.

Across STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and design subjects in particular, schools exploring innovative ways of using the technology to help teach more complex scientific and mathematical ideas.
  • 3D printers create solid objects by building up layers of material, guided by models created in computer aided design (CAD) software. 
Using 3D printers helps pupils to understand the application and potential of this new type of technology will be important to helping prepare them for a world in which similar technologies will be increasingly commonplace. 
  • 3D printers are gaining popularity in Design and Technology (DT) classrooms. 
There is considerable potential, however, for them to be used within a range of STEM subjects. For example to enable links to be made between mathematics, design and physics in a similar way to, for example, ‘sound’ enabling links between music, physics (wave properties), biology (hearing) and engineering (concert hall design) . 
  • 3D printers offer an opportunity for schools to explore innovative ways of teaching STEM subjects, stimulating pupil interest and enriching the curriculum.
Science and mathematics departments should explore the potential of 3D printing within their subject area.
Many schools are reporting high levels of pupil motivation when engaged in these projects. Schools reported that early work with the printer was often a trial and error process and limited to demonstrations and printing of small files such as 3D shapes.
Teachers when introducing new technologies including teaching approaches need sufficient non-contact time to plan the most effective use of the printers. 
  • Schools need good technical support both from manufacturers and internal staff to start using the printer effectively.

Exploring teaching approaches

Where schools chose to engage in cross-curricular work they needed to overcome logistical challenges and difference in approach to teaching between subjects. The 3D printer is ideally suited to project work, where learning arises naturally as part of an investigation or construction project.
Design and Technology (DT) teachers more familiar with this type of teaching, where pupils spend time on individual project work. In DT it is common for pupils to be given a design brief and be expected to make personal choices about the design, which they then test out for themselves. This contrasts with common teaching practice in science and mathematics. 
With 3D printing the focus is frequently on teaching concepts discretely and in depth. Where physics and maths teachers engaged with use of the printers successfully, they did so to promote thinking, reasoning and understanding of their subject.
The lead engagement of 3D printing frequently comes from DT staff, who organised the printing for mathematics and science teachers. This would allow teachers from other STEM areas to see how their subject could make use of the printer. Even within a single subject such as DT, the printer encourages cross-curricular thinking.
Topics covered will also include converting .stl files from the CAD software into .s3g format or other formats used by various 3D printers.  Pupils should understand how the code is used in the conversion.
Production ideas include creating drawings and producing items ranging from letter stands, business card holders and phone stands for Father’s day’s gifts, brackets and injection moulded cases for Engineering projects even a desk lamp. 

Liquid3D printer price

Pupils who were familiar with the design cycle (plan, design, make and evaluate) will be able to exploit the use of the 3D printer to shorten the “make” phase as the printer was quicker at producing items. It was possible to spend more time on “design” and “evaluate” to produce a better quality product.
3D Design Program
Some of the prints should be made from scratch (see RV part example design above and actual fitted part below) rather than from a downloaded template from say which we admit is fun.
Endcap 3D printed
  • Printing of 3D graphs is not straightforward as some think.
Items are often needed to be printed with a supporting medium which is removed after the print this takes a bit of planning and a deep understanding of the limitations of each printer, software and medium combination.
Pupils can also applied mathematics, such as trigonometry involved in calculating back angles, plotting coordinates in the software so designs would maintain balance once printed by the 3D printer, and performing a costing exercise to evaluate value for money, how much filament will this job use and what is the cost?
As teachers you should allow some time to become familiar enough with the printer and associated software to use it successfully and confidently in teaching. Integrating the use of the 3D printer into the curriculum needs a little passion about the subject, don’t be afraid to experiment and innovate.
The most interesting uses are when teachers work collaboratively and where the entire school community was invited to use the printer. Liaison between departments was important to ensure that the teaching of the selected software was planned collaboratively across the school and across subjects.
Technicians (hired by hour) may play an active role in both facilitating printer use and assisting in the design work. Excellent in-school technician support is an important factor in the success of and 3D printing project for schools.
  • Your lead teacher may be a DT specialist (this is where the CAD expertise lies) in most schools.
Printers should be kept on view and accessible to pupils, the logistics of using the printer is important.  Permanently housed in one location or located in several locations including a staff room. The location of the printer is based upon school preference taking into account OH&S there is no right or wrong with regards to this but be aware print heads operate at high temperatures hence the reference to OH&S.
3D printers have a motivating effect on pupils, this is xlnt!
Pupils with poor concentration are able to see tangible results more quickly and as a result may keep up their interest in the lesson.  
There are applications that allow students to view the progress of their job from home and pause or cancel the print if required as not every print goes to plan.
  • Exploring complex designs and ideas keeps students more interested.

Training and development needs

During your project, you’ll need committed and hard-working teachers and technicians to become familiar enough with the printer and its associated software to begin to use it with pupils. For this reason, 3D printing is regarded by many schools as an exploratory pilot. 
Plan to build on the work, making more informed use of the printers in the next academic year. Teachers will also benefit from demonstrations of the printer set up and software by experienced presenters.
Training sessions need to be followed by opportunities to practice what has been learnt. Some teachers feel progress would be impossible unless their teaching load was temporarily reduced.  Consider a period of time off-timetable to consolidate programming and printing skills.
Lack of CAD expertise amongst non DT teachers is a barrier to using the printer to its full potential, in teaching of 3D STEM and design subjects. 
  • You need to factor in time required to train teachers and embed new approaches to teaching. 
This allows teachers starting from a lower base of expertise in 3D technologies adequate time to reflect on the various possibilities and to work with other teachers to develop and implement their ideas.
To maximise the opportunities that 3D printing offers for subjects beyond DT, particularly physics and mathematics, teachers should be open to new ways of teaching, including pupil-led experimentation.  
Independent learning can result in improved academic learning and other, wider benefits. Independent learning starts by simple, freely downloadable designs from websites such as Thingiverse.
-- This is useful as an introduction to how 3D printers work.
Cloud Libaries


This will stimulated ideas for further possibilities by staff and pupils during the initial training period. The majority of schools use Sketchup as their software mainly because it is a free program, available for pupils to download out of school hours.
Dedicated training and on-going support in using the relevant software across departments proved is essential,  it will take a while for inexperienced teachers to become familiar with the capabilities of both the printer and the design software. When teachers are confident, they could teach usage of the technology effectively to pupils.    

Choosing a printer 

Points to consider are:
  • Who will use it?
  • What will it be used for?
  • Speed of printing
  • The interface between the printer and the files to be printed
  • Cost of consumables
  • Ease of use
  • Accessibility of printer location
  • What type of filament works best for your requirements?
  • Suitability of printer local environment e.g. to minimise draughts and lifting problems 
  • Compatibility of firmware with school operating systems and networks
  • Quality and accessibility of after sales support
  • Applications that allow remote monitoring of large time consuming jobs available?
Other points of feedback from schools:
  • Some prints can take hours
  • Will pupils designed models that the printer is unable to make?
  • Number of faults that happen are they relatively easy to fix?
  • The printer requires technical support?
  • Open design on the printer needed for the type of filament?
  • Some printing materials work better than others
  • Networking software
  • Have the software in place before engaging with the printer
  • HOT 3D Printers|MakerBotShop


3D printers have significant potential as a teaching resource and can have a positive impact on pupil engagement and learning if schools can master how to use the printers in an effective and meaningful way.
Schools should explore potential benefits and challenges of using this technology in the curriculum and to share their experiences with other schools wishing to introduce 3D printers. Individual schools need to decide how to integrate new technologies into their curriculum.
To see the range of MakerBot 3D printers (use Thingiverse) visit
See also Thingiverse
Please contact us (Australia only) for more information.


T h i n g i v e r s e

See also AboutFAQ 

We need your brilliant designs. Get on a 3D modelling program and/or 3D scanner and start to create, construct, and innovate! Build something cool, useful, or just fun.

Make We need your brilliant designs

Cloud Libaries

Get on a 3D modelling program and/or 3D scanner and start to create, construct, and innovate! Build something cool, useful, or just fun. Then upload the file to Thingiverse and tell us all about it.


Show us what you made: the world wants to see it!

3D modelling and printing is still in its infancy.

The more you share your work, the more your designs inspire others, get printed, and do awesome things.


The Thingiverse community has uploaded over 100,000 3D models, and that number is growing every day.

Check out all the incredible objects people have created, and get inspired to make your own!

MakerBot's Thingiverse is a thriving design community for discovering, making, and sharing 3D printable things.

As the world's largest 3D printing community, we believe that everyone should be encouraged to create and remix 3D things, no matter their technical expertise or previous experience.

In the spirit of maintaining an open platform, all designs are encouraged to be licensed under a Creative Commons license, meaning that anyone can use or alter any design.

How Ca I Get Involved?

The best way to get involved with Thingiverse is to try your hand at 3D designing. Thingiverse isn't just of designers, engineers, or CAD drawing experts: anyone can learn. But that's not the only way to participate...

Gaining street cred can be as simple as posting your "makes" (prints of an existing design), or creating your own mod template for your favourite 3D design in Customizer, our first app that uses the Thingiverse API.

To see the range of MakerBot 3D printers (use Thingiverse) visit 



See FAQEducational 3D

UNC-Chapel Hill researchers collaborate to develop revolutionary 3D printing technology - CLIP Continuous Liquid Interface Production Liquid3D Printing 


 UNC-Chapel Hill researchers collaborate to develop revolutionary 3D printing technology


3D printer is the first to use light and oxygen to synthesize materials from a pool of liquid, reimagining a technology that could bring 3D printing into mainstream manufacturing


(Chapel Hill, N.C.—March 16, 2015) – A 3D printing technology developed by Silicon Valley startup, Carbon3D Inc., enables objects to rise from a liquid media continuously rather than being built layer by layer as they have been for the past 25 years, representing a fundamentally new approach to 3D printing. The technology, to appear as the cover article in the March 20 print issue of Science, allows ready-to-use products to be made 25 to 100 times faster than other methods and creates previously unachievable geometries that open opportunities for innovation not only in health care and medicine, but also in other major industries such as automotive and aviation.


Joseph M. DeSimone, professor of chemistry at UNC-Chapel Hill and of chemical engineering at N.C. State, is currently CEO of Carbon3D where he co-invented the method with colleagues Alex Ermoshkin, chief technology officer at Carbon 3D and Edward T. Samulski, also professor of chemistry at UNC. Currently on sabbatical from the University, DeSimone has focused on bringing the technology to market, while also creating new opportunities for graduate students to use the technique for research in materials science and drug delivery at UNC and NCSU.


The technology, called CLIP – for Continuous Liquid Interface Production – manipulates light and oxygen to fuse objects in liquid media, creating the first 3D printing process that uses tunable photochemistry instead of the layer-by-layer approach that has defined the technology for decades. It works by projecting beams of light through an oxygen-permeable window into a liquid resin. Working in tandem, light and oxygen control the solidification of the resin, creating commercially viable objects that can have feature sizes below 20 microns, or less than one-quarter of the width of a piece of paper.


“By rethinking the whole approach to 3D printing, and the chemistry and physics behind the process, we have developed a new technology that can create parts radically faster than traditional technologies by essentially ‘growing’ them in a pool of liquid,” said DeSimone, who will reveal the technology at a TED talk today (March 16) in the opening session of the conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.


Through a sponsored research agreement between UNC-Chapel Hill and Carbon 3D, the team is currently pursuing advances to the technology, as well as new materials that are compatible with it. CLIP enables a very wide range of material to be used to make 3D parts with novel properties, including elastomers, silicones, nylon-like materials, ceramics and biodegradable materials. The technique itself provides a blueprint for synthesizing novel materials that can further research in materials science.


Rima Janusziewicz and Ashley R. Johnson, graduate students in DeSimone’s academic lab, are co-authors on the paper and are working on novel applications in drug delivery and other areas.


“In addition to using new materials, CLIP can allow us to make stronger objects with unique geometries that other techniques cannot achieve, such as cardiac stents personally tailored to meet the needs of a specific patient,” said DeSimone. “Since CLIP facilitates 3D polymeric object fabrication in a matter of minutes instead of hours or days, it would not be impossible within coming years to enable personalized coronary stents, dental implants or prosthetics to be 3D printed on-demand in a medical setting.”








3 D   P R I N T I N G   F A Q

See also EducationalAboutFAQ / ThingiverseTypes of 3D printers

What is an STL file?

Sketchup and most CAD programs (i.e. AutoCAD) use or can export to .STL file format. 
The STL file format is the Rapid Prototyping industry's standard data transmission format and is the format required to interact with stereolithography machines.

ascii_stl file


.STL is the most popular format for 3D printers, STL stands for STereoLithography a code or system containing all the information needed to produce 3D models.

The STL file is a triangular representation of a 3D object whereby the surface of an object is broken into a logical series of triangles uniquely defined by its normal and three points representing its vertices as per the diagram above.

Surfaces are also represented by triangles using xyz coordinates of the vertices and normals for the triangles that describe any 3D object.

The STL data is used to create an object by depositing a succession of thin layers of plastics, metals, or composite materials.

The resulting parts and models are commonly used for the following:

  • Visualize design concepts
  • Create product mockups, architectural models, and terrain models
  • Test form, fit, and function
  • Identify design problems
  • Create masters for vacuum forming applications
  • Create Marketing tools

AutoCAD export to .stl

  • Click Application menu  Export  Other Formats.  Find 
  • In the Export Data dialog box, enter a file name.
  • Under Files of type, select Lithography (*.stl). Click Save.
  • Select one or more solid objects. All objects must be entirely within the positive XYZ octant of the world coordinate system (WCS). That is, their X, Y, and Z coordinates must be greater than zero.
  • The file extension .stl is automatically appended to the file name.  |more|

ABS vs. PLA Filaments


thermoplastic filaments

  • ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) is a lightweight yet immensely strong thermoplastic ABS is tough and adaptable with a high tensile and impact strength.
  • ABS plastic is oil-based with a higher melting point than PLA. ABS is stronger and harder than PLA.
  • ABS is widely used for bumpers and motorcycle helmets, golfclubs even Lego blocks, ABS has a longer life span than PLA.
  • ABS is prone to moisture ingress this shows up under the heating action of 3D printing causing spluttering and problems with adhesion. 
  • PLA is a bio-degradable type of plastic that is manufactured out of plant-based resources such as corn starch or sugar cane often called ‘a green plastic’.
If you're making items at home or in a confined area you may be better off choosing PLA because of its ease-of use and less requirement for ventilation.
Other types of filaments
MakerBot printers can (depending on the model) also print with high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) as well as some specialised filaments.


Neither ABS or PLA are ideal for say Coffee Cups and one would melt (PLA) and ABS contains Oil/BPA.
Coffee Cup printed on 3d printer
The amount of dangerous bisphenol A (BPA) that leaches from plastic bottles into the drinks they contain is most dependent on the liquid‘s temperature. BPA an endocrine disruptor which mimics your body‘s natural hormones.


Types of 3D printers

This is not a complete list but stating with the most popular;

Fused deposition modeling (FDM)
3D FDM printing
FDM is the most common in conusmer 3D printers such as MakerBot. It's an additive manufacturing technology commonly used for modeling, prototyping, and production applications. 
FDM uses an "additive" principle, laying down the plastic (or other) material in layers. A filament or metal wire is unwound from a cartridge or reel into the printer to print the item.
Granular 3D printing
granular 3d printing
An additive manufacturing technique that fuses material in a granular bed and moves downward to add another layer of granules until the part is complete.
Granular 3D printing technology includes Selective Laser Melting (SLM), Electronic Beam Melting® (EBM®), and inkjet 3d printing. Materials such as plastics or ceramic powders are fused in a granular bed layer by layer.
The part is surrounded by layers of powders, which eliminates the need for support material. The process repeats until the part is complete.
Liquid3D printing
The technology, called CLIP – for Continuous Liquid Interface Production (also know as Carbon 3D)
Liquid 3D printers manipulate light and oxygen to fuse objects in liquid media, creating the first 3D printing process that uses tunable photochemistry instead of the layer-by-layer approach that has defined the technology for decades.
L3D works by projecting beams of light through an oxygen-permeable window into a liquid resin.
Working in tandem, light and oxygen control the solidification of the resin, creating commercially viable objects that can have feature sizes below 20 microns, or less than one-quarter of the width of a piece of paper.
L3D technology is still some time away for the consumer market. |More|
Electron beam freeform fabrication (EBF3)
NASA's (note the name, not for home use) layer-additive process that uses an electron beam and wire to fabricate metallic structures.
electron-beam-freeform 3D printing
The process efficiencies of the electron beam and the solid wire feedstock make the EBF3 process attractive for use in-space.

The future of 3D printing? Worlds First 3D Printed Metal Gun




See also FAQThingiverse

Don't be Grey get a real Warranty..

If you buy a Grey Market printer you may save a few dollars but you may not get the latest version for Australia or any Australian hardware support.

Our sites listed below do not sell Grey Market so 3D printers will come with an Australian warranty.

MakerBotShop au 3d printers for sale




 See also 3D Printer Reviews 


3D printer straightens teeth

What if you had a chance to save money, make yourself happier, and stick it to the dental appliance industry, all in one shot?

3d printer prints teeth braces

Scientific American says that by consciously smiling, we trigger a psychological feedback mechanism that causes us to be happy.

I had an amazing realization last year- I wasn't smiling, and it was because I was unhappy with my teeth.

They weren't awful, but they were crooked enough to make me self conscious.

It’s very hard to smile when doing so makes you self concious about your teeth- every single time. By avoiding smiling, I was dampening my own potential for spontaneous happiness!

"..As far as I know, I’m the first person to have tried DIY-ing plastic aligners.

They’re much more comfortable than braces, and fit my teeth quite well. I was pleased to find, when I put the first one on, that it only seemed to put any noticeable pressure on the teeth that I planned to move- a success! I’ve been wearing them all day and all night for 16 weeks, only taking them out to eat.

I’m planning on fabricating a bunch of retainers for the current position, which I can use - till I die - at night. They also happen to work very well as perfectly fitting whitening trays, when trimmed down a tiny bit. They’re also fantastic night guards- they’ve been protecting my teeth from nighttime grinding, without being bulky.."


 Looking for a 3D printer at the best price?

MakerBotShop au


Early access to Carbon3D technology powers Legacy Effects

The Hollywood special effects company wants to focus on art, not the stress of client deadlines and technical issues.

But ever since the recession hit in 2008, the vanguard studio, which has created memorable film characters etched into the global imagination from “Avatar” (2009) to “Godzilla” (2014), ran into roadblocks as it tried to meet clients’ increasingly tighter budgets and project deadline demands.
Company engineers turned to 3D printers for help. The technology they tried - PolyJet, Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) and others - shaved production time down, but deadlines still loomed and the time crunch on projects dampened artistic freedom and design.
Adding more headache, the prototypes they created using conventional 3D printing technology were flimsy and easily damaged.

Over the past year, Legacy Effects has used Carbon3D CLIP technology to vastly improve project quality and speed, and has experienced a host of other benefits:

  • Superior accuracy of designs
  • Wider material and color variety
  • Durable material of injection molding quality
  • Time, money and worry saved by not having to manufacture or mass-produce projects such as high-end collectibles in China.

Read More

3D printer churns out handheld underground water model

Written by  

DAFWA research officer Nick Wright has used a 3D printer to create a model of the 3.5 million hectare La Grange groundwater allocation area, south of Broome.DAFWA
  • Pastoralists and traditional owners benefit from model
  • NASA shuttle data and aerial survey fill in the gaps
  • Model reveals 10km long siltstone bed

CUTTING-EDGE three dimensional printing technology has produced a plastic model representing the land surface and underground water systems across 3.5 million hectares of the La Grange groundwater allocation area, south of Broome.

The model transforms masses of complex data into a hand-held representation to enable pastoralists and traditional owners to better understand the make-up of the region’s land surface and underground water.

The 3D model shows the relationship between surface topography and the underground freshwater aquifer, saltwater and siltstone (rock consisting of consolidated silt).

Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) research officer Nick Wright combined his hobby of 3D printing with his work in the department to produce the plastic model.

“It’s such great fun,” Mr Wright says.

“You put all this 3D modelling information into a computer, press a button, leave it overnight and come back and it’s real.

“It’s pretty mind blowing.”

For this project, Mr Wright created a representation of the land surface using data from the NASA shuttle radar topography mission, which is freely available on the internet.

Shuttle data and aerial surveys add to model

He combined the NASA data with DAFWA ground water monitoring bore data to reveal the underground freshwater aquifer, and other data from a DAFWA aerial electromagnetic survey.

The data showed the underlying layer of impenetrable Jarlemai Siltstone and saltwater interface which penetrates underground for about 10km inland, affecting the saline content of groundwater along the coast.

After feeding the data into his computer, Mr Wright used the department’s $2000 3D printer to print out the model at a cost of about $40.

The small printer uses a fine strand of plastic to print layer-upon-layer to build the model over a period of hours.

Mr Wright says the model helped pastoralists and traditional owners to better understand the department’s research.

“Straight away they could see what we’re dealing with, as the model provided a nice, visual way to explain the irrigation opportunities and constraints of the area,” he says.