Interested in 3D Printing

I am interested in getting into 3d printing with my son. We love Star Wars and he would love to learn how to print and make Clone Trooper armor. I have a few questions and would appreciate any information and guidance.

  1. My son is 15 and a half. Can he tag along and observe, until he’s 16, as long as I am operating the printer?
  2. Is there a time limit on how long a single model can print?
  3. Is there an area at the Makerspace where fiberglass resin and be applied to the model so it can be sanded and painted to complete a final product?


Hello welcome to makerspace. I am glad you have chosen to do 3d printing, But i am confused to the nature of the questions. These are my initial responses. I hope i am helpful.

Response to both point 1 and 2: If you are a Dallas makers space member with the proper training, Then we require you merely stay at your print (meaning in the building) or have a proxy (meaning in the building near the print). Finally clean the 3d printer and purge the nozzle with fresh filament. if you are using our 3d filament please pay. pla and abs may be purchase at micro centered or online. The length of the print is how long you can stay or your proxy can stay.

The class is here -

Response to point 3, there is no fiberglass. We have resin printers these work via a photo sensitive material that is exposed layer after layer to UV light. This solidifies the resin into the form the user desires. This additive method takes place on the roof of the 3d printer usually. We have filament printers for abs pla and ninja flex. Abs needs a acetone vapor bath to be smoothed

Tony, I’ve found that the best way to finish an FDM print where you care about the surface look is to (1) first sand the heavy layer lines, (2) use a spot putty like Bondo to fill in the largest gaps, (3) sand, (4) then spray a filler primer, sand, repeat until satisfied. Rustoleum filler primer is the cheapest decent spray I’ve found, but I think Duplicolor works so much better (at almost twice the price and half the availability locally, unfortunately). Depending on your patience, this should get you something that does not look at all like it was 3D printed.

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Note about point 1 in particular:

  • Anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied fairly closely by someone over the age of 18, but is otherwise allowed in the building. Not that there are some areas, where even accompanied, they may not be allowed in while work is being done. At 16, they can get a fob to the space and are allowed unaccompanied in certain areas (like 3D fab, creative arts, and a few others)

  • The 3D printers need to be watched for at least the first few layers to make sure it doesn’t immediately mess up, but as long as your contact information (name + phone) is written clearly on the whiteboard tape on the printer, you may then leave the space.

For point 2:

  • Not really a limit on time. We limit how many individual machines a single person can use. This should be written down in the 3D Fab area on a rule board, and/or in the training class.

This is a good video that further elaborates on the process that @SteveF has described.


Sorry you are correct. I failed to mention the age requirement.