Skip to main content

3D Printing at Education Commons: Self-Serve 3D Printing

The printer

MakerBot Replicator+

MakerBot Replicator Plus


Maximum print size:​ 295 mm L  x 195 W  x 165 H

How-to use our self-serve printer

The Education Commons' MakerBot Replicator+ is now available as a self-serve 3D printer for users who want to get hands-on!  All Penn students, faculty, and staff members are welcome to use the MakerBot after a brief orientation!

Schedule an orientation

You MUST receive a 3D Printing Orientation from one of our staff members before you will be allowed to reserve time on the printer.  Pay attention at your orientation - we can't guarantee that someone will be available to assist when you come in to print your model.

Reserve a printing time slot

Once you have had your orientation, you will be able to reserve time on the printer for up to 6 hours at a time.  Be sure your print will be finished in this time!  If your print job runs into another user's reservation, the print may be canceled before it finishes. 

Reservations must be made at least 24 hours in advance and approved by a designated staff member.  If you do not have an approved reservation, you will not be allowed to use the printer.  Your reservation will not be approved if you have not completed an orientation.

Prepare your print

You can prepare your .stl or .obj file for printing using MakerBot's free slicing software, MakerBot Print, which is available for both Mac and PC.  It is recommended that you slice your model in advance so you know how long it will take.  If you don't want to install the software on your own computer, you can borrow a laptop at the desk.  Only a few of our laptops have MakerBot Print installed, so let the staff member at the desk know that you need it to prepare your MakerBot model.

Choose your filament

To get started, you will need to bring your PennCard to the desk and check out a spool of filament.  You can choose from any of the filament colors we have available.  If a specific color is important for your print, we suggest contacting us in advance at to ensure that we have it.  If you want to bring in your own filament, it needs to be 1.75mm PLA filament.  You may not use the MakerBot to print with any materials other than PLA.


Load the filament in the MakerBot, insert your flash drive, and start your print!  Don't forget to unload the filament and return the spool to the desk when your print is finished!


All printing projects are subject to the following policies.  Users who violate any of these policies will no longer be eligible for 3D printing services.

I.  No one will be permitted to use our 3D printer to create material that is:

  • Prohibited by local, state, or federal law, or by University of Pennsylvania policy.
  • Unsafe, harmful, dangerous or poses an immediate threat to the well-being of others. 
  • 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. Self-serve 3D printing is by reservation only.  Reservations must be approved in advance by a designated staff member.  

III. Each individual may use the self-serve 3D printer for a maximum of 6 hours per week.  It is the user's responsibility to ensure that their print can be completed within their reserved timeslot.

IV. Only the MakerBot Replicator+ is available for self-service printing.  The Education Commons' other 3D printers can be operated only by designated library staff.  If you would like to have a model printed for you by our staff, please submit your STL file using the request form.