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. Class assignments receive priority but please do not wait until the last minute to try to print. If you need something immediately printed, try checking out a 3D printer from Marston's circulation desk.
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?
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.
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.