Skip to Main Content

3D Printing and Scanning: Home

This guide give you information on 3D printing and scanning services provided by the Radcliffe Science Library, along with links to helpful 3D printing, scanning, and modelling resources and tips.

3D Printing Services

We have relaunched our 3D printing service.

Please note that our 3D printing service is only available to members of Oxford University. Unfortunately, we do not have the capacity to offer printing services to external organisations, businesses or private individuals.

Services we offer

Services we offer to all University members:

3D printing

3D Scanning

  • This service is currently on hold.

What is 3D Printing?

3D printing allows you to "print" a three-dimensional object out of a variety of materials, such as plastic, metal, and organic materials. Using a process called Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM), a 3D printer would deposit hot plastic on to a build plate in layers that set instantly to build up a 3D object.

For more details, watch this video:

This video on youtube, created by CNN describes the 3-D printing process

What is 3D Scanning?

3D scanning allows you to create a 3D computer model representation a physical object. You can then use this model as a base to adjust or build upon, or to eventually 3D print. There are different ways in which 3D scanners work, some rotate small objects on a turntable to scan them, while others are handheld devices that are moved around larger objects to scan them. 

For more details, watch this video:

This video on youtube, created by CNN describes the 3-D scanning process

What Can I Do With It?

What are some examples of practical uses for 3D printing and scanning?

3D printing and scanning can be used in a variety of disciplines to develop prototypes, create 3D models to represent data or to aid in visualisation, create 3D teaching aids, etc. Here are a few examples of practical uses in an educational environment:

  • Engineering: Create 3D prototypes of designs
  • Medicine: Create 3D replicas of anatomy
  • Archaeology / Paleontology / Earth Sciences: Create 3D replicas of fragile relics for study
  • Chemistry / Physics / Biology: Create accurate 3D visual teaching aids, such as DNA or chemical reactions
  • 3D Animation: Create 3D printed objects from designs
  • Advertising / Marketing / Business / Entrepreneurs: Create a 3D prototype of items for sale to show clients


Profile Photo
Rachel Scanlon
Radcliffe Science Library
01865 272824
Social: Twitter Page

Contact Us

If you have any questions or would like to discuss using the service, feel free to contact us at