The 3D printers at the Education Commons are available to the Penn community of students, faculty, and staff. The 3D printing services at the Education Commons is free for both academic and non-academic projects, but all print requests are subject to the following policies:
I. Penn Libraries reserves the right to refuse any 3D print request. No one will be permitted to use our 3D printer to create material that is:
II. The Education Commons prints non-academic projects for personal use by members of the Penn Community. You may not use the service to print items you intend to sell. If you are using the service to design a product, all members of your team must be Penn students, faculty, or staff with active PennKeys. Under no circumstances may you use the Education Commons to print items for professional projects involving individuals or companies outside of the University of Pennsylvania. Users who violate this policy will no longer be eligible for 3D printing services.
III. Each individual has a maximum of 50 hours of which can be used for personal prints, per semester.
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.
V. Any designs submitted for printing will not be saved nor used again for prints. We will have data regarding who requested prints and when they have requested it but no other data will be saved.
VI. PLA plastic, which is the standard filament we use, is not considered food safe and we strongly do not recommend printing objects that come in contact with food; unless for specific purposes that require the use of a 3D printer where food will not be eaten, we will not take requests for such requests.
To print a model on the our 3D printers, it must be exported as a binary Stereolithography file, with an STL extension (.stl) in METRIC units. Most CAD programs can save or export in this format, as can other free 3D modeling software packages, such as Sketchup, Fusion 360, AutoCAD's 123D, TinkerCAD, and Blender.
Each .stl file submitted must have only one design with no other objects. If you need duplicates, please mention it separately while requesting. Some designs may not be printed as we use consumer grade FDM/FFF style 3D printers which cannot accommodate smaller details or will print too many supports to make it viable to print reliably. We will not print any single object that takes more than 24 hours unless a good reason is given as the risk of failure during print increases exponentially. We will not design objects for patrons but can offer advice. We can but will not print a box.
The 3D model must be less than the build volume of one of our printers:
Prusa MK3S+: The build volume is 250 x 210 x 210 mm
Creality Cr-10 v3: The build volume is 300 x 300 x 400 mm
Bambu P1P: The build volume is 256 x 256 x 256 mm
In the majority of cases, the color of prints cannot be requested and will be printed accordingly to what filaments we have in stock. However if there is a specific reason (ex. functional use case, bio-related, or project specification) we can try and accommodate requests.
We currently have PLA plastic as our standard for printing but we also carry ASA, TPU, PETG, and other specialty filaments (ex. silk, color change, glow in the dark, transparent, etc) that can be used in special cases. Please contact us if needed for further consultation.
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. Any faulty designs will not be printed and need to be fixed by the submitter.
By default our slicer settings are set to 0.2 mm layer height, 15% cubic infill, 2 vertical perimeter shells, with aligned seam positions. If your print requires more specific settings or if you require documentation, please let us know.
3D printing is currently available at no charge for Penn students, faculty and staff at a limit of 50 hours of print time per semester. However if you do not pick up your print within 2 weeks or do not communicate a reason for pick up delay, it will be reflected onto your account and we will limit your future requests.
When you are ready to submit your print request, please complete the request form and submit your stl file under Personal/Non-Academic.
After we have reviewed your file to ensure that it will print correctly, we will process it, put it in the queue, print it, and email you that it is available for pick up. 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.
Creality CR-10 v3