Open3dp is a website hosted by the Solheim Additive Manufacturing Laboratory in the Mechanical Engineering Department on the University of Washington campus.   Its purpose is to disseminate information and foster a community of people interested in an open sharing of 3D printing information. We hope that you find useful information on this site and that you will feel free to comment and share your expertise.

Looking in the Window to the Solheim Lab & Studio

Looking in the Window at the Solheim Lab (see what’s going on)

The Solheim lab is co-directed by Professors:

Mark Ganter (ganter@uw dot edu)

Duane Storti (storti@uw dot edu)

Corporate Contributors:

Seattle Pottery Supply

Spectrum Glass

Olympic Color Rod

Bullseye Glass


14 Comments on About

  1. Colin Keizer says:


    The ideas and processes I see you developing are inspiring.

    I own and operate a Roland computer-controlled 3D router. It has enabled me to create fun and useful shapes out of wood, plastic, metal and I’m about to try cutting pipe stone.

    I also own several kilns which I use for enameling metal and would love to experiment with some of the materials and processes you describe from your research.

    That would require me to acquire or construct a 3D printer.

    This seems likely to be a challenge facing many in the communities to which Open 3D Printing is directed.

    What recommendations can you make regarding products, kits, parts and plans? I’m currently looking at RepRap and MakeBot and wondering if I can repurpose their designs.

    I dream of someday upscaling an Open Source 3D printer design until it is large enough to print a house, which could then be fired as Khalili does with his handmade ceramic homes.

    Of course, other sizes of Open Source 3D Printer would offer other interesting opportunities for design. So many possibilities, so little time….

    Thanks for your thoughts on this.


  2. CDES FabLab says:

    We’ve been running a polychrome 3DP for 3 years and are continually frustrated by the expensive consumables and high maintenance costs. We’re compelled by the work you’re doing, so we just got a used monochrome 3DP with which we intend to explore open source consumables. Thanks for sharing and keep up the great work.


  3. Spikeabell says:

    Hi, Just recently I came across a product /material (through a fellow glass student) called Arboform the main ingredient is a paper industry waste product ‘Lignin’. Would that work in your printer? BTW love your experiments in glass.. very impressed.

    • admin says:

      Dear Spike, Basically the first step in determining if something is printable is determining if it is available in a powder which passes through a 400 mesh
      screen (to produce powder in the 40-100 micron particle size). Next one must find a binder/adhesive, etc. Lignin has been a wood industry adhesive
      for a long time. I believe that one could develop a workable process.

  4. […] Mark Ganter from University of Washington and Laura West from Fresno City College gave a presentation titled […]

  5. gaffer girls says:

    fantastic site ..

    thanks Mona & the girls

  6. […] individuals and organizations for their knowledge, support and assistance: Dr. Mark Ganter (Solheim Additive Manufacturing  Laboratory in the Mechanical Engineering Department on the Universi…), Artist Ehren Tool, Professor Richard Shaw (Berkeley), The Department of Art Practice at The […]

  7. […] Project Date: 2011 Project Location: Berkeley, CA Design Team: Ronald Rael, Virginia San Fratello, Kent Wilson. Project Information: Technical assistance: Dr. Mark Ganter (Solheim Additive Manufacturing  Laboratory in the Mechanical Engineering Department on the Universi…) […]

  8. Herve says:

    Hi there,

    We are a group of friends designing a new concept of underwater turbine to produce electricity from rivers. We are wondering if you system can use used plastic bottles or used plastic bags or parts for 3D print? More; how big can be the parts produced by your printer?


  9. Alex Marshall says:


    I have just started learning about 3D printing and just started reading your blog but have been making 3D models for a while with various CAD programs. I have noticed that you and other blog owners frequently mention models or even take pictures of the printed results but never display the models on your site. Concluding that this may be from a lack of means, I made SuperCuber, a tool which allows you to embed 3D models on your blog from uloaded stl files. An example is at I stand to make no money from this and the app is completely open source. I just made this out of interest and wanted to see if it could help you.

  10. […] been wanting to fabricate objects in ceramic and other materials. Last year Holly and I visited the Solheim Additive Manufacturing Lab to check out their powder based ceramic processes, and ever since then i’ve been scouring […]

  11. E says:

    Is there a thermoplastic additive that, after it is 3D printed, the model can then be easily recycled (melted, grinded, etc) and reused to 3D print another model? If yes, what is the thermoplastic(s)? Is it fairly rigid or soft?

    • ganter says:

      E, there are so many plastic additives that it is beyond the scope of this blog. Part of the answer: Just regrind your parts and get/make a filament extruder and make filament. The reality is that each cycle of print-regrind-make-filament degrades the plastic. Commercially, that’s why you don’t see “product made from 100% recycled plastic”.

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