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3D Printing

DML hdr 3DprintInfo

In a Nutshell

Traditional printing lays down a layer of ink to produce an image or text on paper.  3D printers like our MakerBot Replicator (5th Generation) lay down heated plastic in layers to create three dimensional objects.  With this technology, patrons can create prototypes, replacement parts, and final products.  Participants can print objects from self-created model, 3D scan, photographs, purchased models, or free-to-use 3D models found at online 3D model libraries such as MakerBot’s Thingiverse.  Our 3D printer doesn’t create industrial quality products, so please use caution to avoid injury.

Our 3D printing services include required consultation, evaluation of submitted 3D models, print processing, 3D object printing, and basic clean up.  3D digital models are the basis to create three dimensional printed objects whether they are scanned, created, or a combination of one or more 3D digital models.  Accepted file types are .STL and .OBJ.  Print times can vary depending various factors such as an object’s size, resolution, etc.   

About the service

  • Anyone.  During peak times, we give priority to academic projects
  • By appointment only (view calendar/make reservation via our 3D Print Request form
  • Payment by UCard or Guest UCard
  • Accepted file types are .stl and .obj 

Pricing and payment

  • 3D print cost is $0.15 per gram of filament.  Estimates are calculated prior to printing. Refunds are offered only if there is a printer malfunction.
  • Maximum print size for MakerBot Replicator is 9.9" L x 7.8" W x 5.9" H.
    Maximum print size for MakerBot Z18 is 11.8" L x 12.0" W x 18.0" H 
  • Payment is made using a UCard or guest UCard.   UCard website (check balance, create debit account, add value, more)
  • Guest UCards are available for purchase from UCard Value Transfer Stations located in the Learning Commons (lower level)

To make an appointment

  • Go to our Consultation Request page and view available appointments on the calendar; fill out the form under the calendar to request a time. 

Submit a 3D Print Request

Before your appointment

  • Important! Appointments are tightly scheduled. If you arrive more than 10 min late, the appointment may need to be rescheduled.
  • Plan ahead:   Requests made over the weekend will be answered Monday. Allow extra time in the event of unforeseen delays. 
  • Format your file: Accepted file types are .stl and .obj.  
  • Check the geometry of the file to avoid print fails:
    • Make sure the 3D model is a solid object. When the faces are not fully closed, they produce gaps or holes in the model and those holes and gaps will keep the model from printing correctly.  
    • Check that polygonal normals are aligned properly
  • Bring your file on a USB drive or have it ready to download from your UDrive or other Web-accessible storage location.
  • Plan on at least an hour.  Some appointments take less time depending on the complexity of the project.

When you arrive:

  1. Come to the Digital Media Lab (3rd floor, W.E.B. Du Bois Library) at your appointment time. A staff person will meet you at the green tabletop consultation desk (by the Digital Media Lab sign)
  2. We will evaluate your file to make sure it will print correctly. Files that need rework will be retuned to you and a repeat appointment may be made.
  3. During the appointment, you will choose filament type and color, select infill setting and print resolution.
  4. If project has multiple pieces, provide each piece as a separate file to allow for flexibility of producing prints on a single printer or multiple printers.
  5. You will review the 3D Print Policies and sign the 3D Print Agreement 
  6. We will put your file in the print queue and estimate print time/date. 

For more information:

Email:  print3d@library.umass.edu