Skip to main content
Click logo to go to Libraries homepage

3D Printing at Education Commons: Print 3D

Print Now!

Our print queue is FULL!  No new requests will be printed until after New Year's.

If you need your item sooner, we recommend using MakeXYZ3D Hubs, or Google to search for a private 3D printing service in the area.  You can also take a look at the other 3D printing services at Penn to see if your request is eligible for any of them.  

We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience.

1. Fill out this form and submit your file: files in STL format only.  We do not accept any other file types, including .makerbot files. 

2. Submit files over 20MB by uploading to and sending a shared link.

3. Check your email for confirmation that we have received your print request, updates on the print's status, clarification on your answers to the form, etc. This will usually come with a rough estimate of when the print will be ready. We also notify you when the print is complete!

4. Simply come in to Education Commons and retrieve your print after we have notified you that it is finished!

Printer Policy

The 3D printers at the Education Commons are available to the Penn community of students, faculty and staff. At present, we have one Makerbot Mini and one Makerbot Replicator+. You can use the printers to make three-dimensional objects in plastic using a design that is uploaded from a digital computer file.

(The Biomedical Library has a Stratasys 3D printer - please see their 3D guide for details.)

I.  Our 3D printer may be used only for lawful purposes. No one will be permitted to use our 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.  Penn Libraries reserves the right to refuse any 3D print request.

III. Only designated library staff will have hands-on access to the 3D printer. This is not a self-service facility.

IV. At a later date, we do expect to make Makerbot Mini printers available for individuals to borrow for use in any of the spaces within the Education Commons.

Printer Information

Makerbot Replicator

Makerbot Replicator


MakerBot Replicator+


Makerbot Replicator+

How to print 3D@EC

What can I print? 

File Format 

To print a model on the Makerbot or Makerbot Mini, it must be exported as a Stereolithography file, with an STL extension (.stl).  Most CAD programs can save or export in this format, as can other free 3D modeling software packages, such as Sketchup Make, AutoCAD's 123D, TinkerCAD and Blender. The Makerbot software is available for use on several of the Macbooks at the Education Commons, as well as our video-editing workstation. You can download and install free Makerbot software on your personal laptop.


The 3D model must fit within the build envelope of the Makerbot.

Makerbot Mini: The build volume is 3.9 x 3.9 x 4.9 in., and the minimum thickness of a layer is 100 microns (0.01cm), or 0.004 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.

Makerbot Replicator+: The build volume is 11.6 x 7.6 x 6.5 in., and the minimum thickness of a layer is 100 microns (0.01cm), or 0.004 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.


You can print in black, brown, grey, white, red, orange, yellow, blue, green, or purple. Every now and then we stock special colors and types of filaments, so ask about them and see if there's one you're interested in!

Additional colors are available from the Makerbot Store. If you'd like us to order another color for a specific reason, please email us at with your request details. Please provide advance notice for ordering processes.


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.  


How much does it cost?


3D printing is currently available at no charge for Penn students, faculty and staff.

Submit your Model

Printing an Object

When you are ready to submit your print request, please visit this page to fill out the form and attach your .stl file:

If your file is over 20MB, then please include a link to the file in your Penn Box account. Files this large are often too complex for our printers or will need adjustment to print correctly, so please take care when crafting your model!

After we have reviewed your file to ensure that it will print correctly, we will get back to you with an estimated printing duration and pickup time. We will do our best to print your object as soon as possible, but many people are interested in the printers and there may be delays so we appreciate your patience.