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3D Printing at the UF Libraries: FAQ

You can now print out an object in 3D at Marston Science Library, Education Library, or Health Science Center Library.

FAQ

Q. How do I submit a 3D print job?

A. See details on the Submitting page!

Q. What if I don't have an .stl file?

A. Most 3D modelling software should have the option to export as an .stl or .obj file.  Please contact us if you need help.

Q. What are the dimensions of the largest thing I can print?

A. Approximately 12" x 12" x 12".  If you need larger, you may print in parts and attach them later.

Q. What are typical costs?

A. The charge to print is $.15/gram with a minimum charge is $3, and several small pieces can be batched together.  Most items under 1.5" x 1.5" x 1.5" are $3.  A case or box around 6.5" x 3.5" x 3" costs around $20.

Q. When will my job be finished?

A. In addition to the time required to print, it depends on how many other jobs are waiting to print.  We will give you an estimate when you submit your job.

Post-printing FAQ

Q.  How can I color my object?

A.  Nail polish is cheap, available in a wide range of colors and textures, and each color has its own brush!  Acrylic and model paints should work.

Q. What glue should I use to combine or repair parts?

A. Recommendations include model airplane cement and "good quality" superglue.   Loctite and Krazyglue have product comparison charts.

Q. Are pieces waterproof?  How can I protect the surface?

A. Some printed pieces seem to be waterproof and some don't.  Use a waterproofing agent if needed. Consider using XTC-3D (an epoxy coating) for smoothing and finishing.

3D Printing Glossary

Below are a list of common terms you will hear us use in 3D printing transactions

AutoCAD – a software for Computer-Aided Design

Build plate – the flat surface in the printer on which the object is made

Extruder – the part of the printer that dispenses the filament (plastic)

Filament – the wire-shaped build material (usually plastic) that is melted to make the object

Infill – the value (in a percentage) of how solid the object will be - with our software, standard resolution is 10% and high resolution is 15%

Makerbot – 3D printing manufacturing company that produces the Replicator models

NetFabb – 3D printing software we often recommend for model repair

Pacmen – disks we add to large, square or rectangular jobs to keep the corners from curling up

PLA – polylactic acid – the type of plastic (usually made from sugar cane or corn starch) we use to build 3D models

Raft – disposable base of a print job, the object is built on top of it (a raft is required of all jobs in the libraries)

Resolution – the layer of thickness and fine detail of the object. High resolution (0.1mm) uses more material than standard (0.2mm) or low (0.3mm) resolution.

Shells – the outlines printed on each layer of the object

Solidworks – a software for Computer-Aided Design.  Engineers' choice.

Spaghetti – our slang term for stringy filament that results from a failed print

STL file – file format used by most 3D printers.  short for "stereolithograph"

Supports – disposable parts of a print job that are used to support sloping or overhanging parts

Thingiverse – one website where 3D models are loaded and shared

TinkerCAD – a free, online 3D modeling resource.  easy to learn and use.

 

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