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3D Printing in the Biomedical Library (3D@TheLibrary): Print 3D

3D-printing policy

The Biomedical Library's 3D printers are available to the Penn community of students, faculty and staff to make three-dimensional objects in plastic using a design that is uploaded from a digital computer file.

I.  The Library’s 3D printers may be used only for lawful purposes. No one will be permitted to use the Library’s 3D printer to create material that is:

  • Prohibited by local, state or federal law.
  • Unsafe, harmful, dangerous or poses an immediate threat to the well-being of others. (Such use may violate the terms of use of the  manufacturer.)
  • Obscene or otherwise inappropriate for the Library environment.
  • In violation of another’s intellectual property rights. For example, the printer will not be used to reproduce material subject to copyright, patent or trademark protection.

II.  The Library reserves the right to refuse any 3D print request.

III. Only designated Library staff will have hands-on access to the 3D printers.

Printer Info - Stratasys Uprint

Printer Info - Formlabs Form 2

Contact us

Email is the best way to reach us! 

Please read these steps before sending your first file

To submit files visit 3dprint.library.upenn.edu/submit 

What can I print? 

File Format 

To print a file it must be exported as a steryolithography file, with an STL extension (.stl) This .stl file must be watertight with manifold edges and no inverted triangles. Files can be fixed for free using a cloud service such as Microsoft's 3D printing platform netfabb https://netfabb.azurewebsites.net/ If the .stl file you give the Biomedical library is not compatible with our printers we may use software to attempt to repair it, in which case we will notify you first. 

Formlabs Form 2

The 3D model must fit within the build envelope of the Form, which is 145 x 145 x 175 mm (5.7 x 5.7 x 6.0 in). The Formlabs printer can currently print in a variety of resin types, Clear, Black, Flexible, Tough and Dental. Email 3dupenn@gmail.com with any questions or for material datasheets.

Makerbot Replicator 2

The 3D model must fit within the build envelope of the Makerbot, which is 285 x 153 x 155 mm (11.2 x 6.0 x 6.1 in). We use "Simplify 3D" to process files which gives us very specific control of infill (density of 3D print) and support structure. The Makerbot currently has the capability to print in PLA plastic, Bridge Nylon (a strong/slightly flexible material), Ninja flex, and Semiflex. Pleases include a note if you have any special requests.

Stratasys UPrint SE Plus

The 3D model must fit within the build envelope of the Stratasys uPrint, which is 203 x 203 x 152 mm (8 x 8 x 6 inches). The minimum thickness of a layer is 0.254 mm (0.010 in.) so the smallest features that will accurately be produced must be at least this value. It is recommended that part thicknesses be at least 0.254 mm or greater.

Manifold or Watertight

The mesh or surface of the 3D model must be watertight and a solid. More technically, all faces of the object must construct one or more closed volume entities. 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.  

What materials are available?

How much does it cost?

  • 3D printing for academic, clinical and research projects for Penn faculty, students and staff is currently free.  You must provide a detailed description of your project to qualify for free printing! 
  • 3D printing for personal items costs $10 per cubic inch of materials used, including support material (payable by Visa/Mastercard only), but is highly discouraged, as we always need to give priority to academic and clinical prints.  We recommend the 3D printing service at the Education Commons which prints personal projects for free, and 3D Hubs as an alternative for a fee.   


Once you submit your file, we will review and get back to you with an estimate. We will use the most economical settings to ensure lowest cost possible. Please note that we reserve the right to prioritize projects and that academic/research projects always take priority.  

Submit your Model

Once you have completed your model, submit your file on 3dprint.library.upenn.edu/submit  you will have options to select your preferences and provide specific instructions for the print staff, file size is capped at 100MB.