The 3D printers at the Education Commons are available to the Penn community of students, faculty, and staff. At present, we have one Makerbot Replicator+ and one Ultimaker 3 Extended. 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:
II. Each individual has a maximum of 80 hours of print time, 40 hours of which can be used for personal prints, per semester.
III. Penn Libraries reserves the right to refuse any 3D print request.
IV. Only designated library staff will have hands-on access to the 3D printer. This is not a self-service facility. However, if you are interested in the process of seeing your print set up or printing, please do let us know and we will do our best to accommodate your request.
Ultimaker 3 Extended
To print a model on the our 3D printers, 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 3D model must fit within the build envelope of one of our printers:
Makerbot Replicator+: The build volume is 295 x 195 x 165 mm, and the minimum thickness of a layer is 0.1 mm. It is recommended that part thicknesses be at least 0.254 mm.
Ultimaker 3 Extended: The build volume is 215 x 215 x 300 mm, and the minimum thickness of a layer is 0.06 mm. It is recommended that part thicknesses be at least 0.254 mm.
gMax 1.5+: The build volume is 406 x 406 x 304 mm, and the minimum thickness of a layer is 0.1 mm. It is recommended that part thicknesses be at least 0.254 mm.
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!
If you'd like us to order another color for a specific reason, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your request details. Please provide advance notice for ordering processes.
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.
3D printing is currently available at no charge for Penn students, faculty and staff.
When you are ready to submit your print request, please visit this page to fill out the form and attach your .stl file: https://faq.library.upenn.edu/ec
If your file is over 20MB, then please upload the file to your Penn Box and submit a shared link. In order for us to access the file, you must create a shared link and select "People with the link". 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.
1. Fill out this form and submit your file: https://faq.library.upenn.edu/ec. Submit files in STL or OBJ format only. We do not accept any other file types, including .makerbot files.
2. Submit files over 20MB by uploading to box.upenn.edu and sending a shared link.
3. A staff member will review your request and add it to the queue. We will email you with updates on the print's status or questions we may have to clarify your request. When possible, we will provide an estimated wait time.
4. You will receive an email when your print is finished. Stop by the Education Commons during our open hours to pick it up at the desk! Enjoy!