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Poster and 3D printing at the Biomedical Library: FAQ


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We print our posters with an HP Z5200, a Canon IPF 8400S and a Canon Pro 4000. We now offer printing on paper as well as on polyester fabric, a foldable material so you can carry your poster in your suitcase!

Our other frequently asked questions are answered below. If you still can't find the answer to your question, please feel free to contact us at  
Who can use the poster printer?

The poster printer is open to all current Penn students, faculty, staff, UPHS staff, and affiliates.

What size can I print?
  • Maximum size for one side: 41.5"
    The paper roll is 42" wide, but requires at least a half-inch margin on both sides. The other side of your poster can be as long as you wish.
  • The minimum size we will print is 12"x18".  If your poster is smaller, we will direct you to other printing services in the area (CVS photo services, for example). 
    We will accept multiple copies of smaller posters if you bring them stacked and in one file.  
How much does it cost?

$0.03 per square inch for paper posters and $0.06 for polyester fabric posters. Posters for school and research purposes are non-taxable. An additional 8% tax is added to posters printed for personal use.

Here are some common sizes:

Dimensions Size in Square Inches Paper (no tax) Paper + tax Fabric (no tax) Fabric + tax
18 x 24 in 432 sq in $12.96 $14.00 $25.92 $28.00
36 x 48 in 1728 sq in $51.84 $55.99 $103.68 $111.98
42 x 48 in 2016 sq in $60.48 $65.32 $120.96 $130.64
36 x 60 in 2160 sq in $64.80 $69.98 $129.6 $139.99
42 x 72 in 3024 sq in $90.72 $97.98 $181.44 $195.96
42 x 90 in 3780 sq in $113.4 $122.47 $226.80 $244.94
How do I pay?

Acceptable forms of payment (no cash, checks or Penncash, sorry!):

  • Credit Card (Mastercard / Visa only)  
  • Departmental Account Number:
    • Invoice (CLICK HERE to download) with a 26-Digit Budget number, signed and EMBOSSED by the department's business administrator.  If your business administrator does not have an embosser, we need a LAWSON number along with the 26# budget number. 

      Unfortunately we are unable to CHOP departmental accounts.  CHOP patrons are advised to pay by credit card and request reimbursement from their department.
  • Business administrators! We no longer accept Departmental Copy Cards.

    However, if many people from your department plan on printing their posters with us, we can create a mass invoice for you so that you don't have to approve separate requests. Just send us your department's information and the list of names of the people who will use our service to
What file format should I use?

We recommend PDF for best service. At this time we do NOT support Mac's Keynote (.key) or Microsoft Publisher (.pub).

Do you have a high-resolution version of the Penn logo I can use on my poster?

We have most Penn logos in high resolution, but not every single department's logo. We recommend not using a Penn logo that you simply downloaded from a generic Penn webpage, because when printed at poster-size, the image can appear fuzzy or pixelated. The University provides higher resolution versions of the Penn logo and shield for "members of the University community in applications supporting the University's mission." Logo images and usage guidelines are at 

I'm not happy with the way my poster turned out. Will you reprint it for free?

Because we charge only a fraction of what other places charge, we cannot reprint posters for free unless we make a mistake when printing the poster for you. If you require reliable color reproduction, you should have your projects printed in a facility that offers a color-calibrated output.

We will not be responsible for errors that are consistent with the file. Please make sure you proof-read your poster before the file is sent to the printer (our staff will give you the time to do so).

Will you design a poster for me?

Yes! Check out our poster layout service for details

Can I make edits or changes to my poster during my appointment?

You can make minor edits to your poster during your half-hour appointment slot.  If edits will take more than the allotted time, you may be asked to reschedule.

Can I trim my poster?

The lab's paper cutter handles sizes up to 72 inches. If your poster is longer, we can either center it in order to distribute the extra space evenly at the top and bottom, or you can fold it over or cut it yourself with scissors.

Can I mount or laminate my poster in the lab?

No, we do not offer this service.  Try UCS (Houston Hall) or Campus Copy (3907 Walnut Street, 215-386-6410). 

Can I print 10 copies of my poster?

We can print multiple copies of a poster, but require sufficient notice. Please mention the number of copies you will need when scheduling your appointment, and try to schedule your appointment for as far in advance as possible. You will still need one entire appointment for each unique poster to be printed.

How long will it take to print my poster?

This varies depending on the size and resolution of the file, but usually about 90 minutes from when you start printing. This does not mean that your poster will be ready in 90 minutes, though! Other posters in the queue, paper jams, and other mishaps can get in the way. Our official turnaround-time guarantee is 1 business day.  

Do you provide cardboard tubes I can use to safely transport my poster?

Yes, you can buy a 42" cardboard storage tube for $4.00 or a reusable, plastic telescopic tube with a strap for $30.00.  There is also a limited number of reusable tubes available for short-term loans at the circulation desk (at no cost). 

Are the posters archival quality?

No. Our paper is not of archival quality, and we use dye-based inks which are not waterproof or fade-resistant. For archival-quality printing, you may wish to check out TAWS (1527 Walnut Street, 800-221-2341) or an online service.

What other poster printing options are available on campus?
Can I print 4x6 prints of my photos with the poster printer?

No. If you just want regular prints, go with a local store (on campus: CVS in the food court at 3401 Walnut Street).

What font should I use on my poster?

See our quick-start guide  and design help sections.

What resolution should my file be?

We find that 150dpi provides a good balance between file size and print quality. Posters printed at higher resolutions are often too large, cause printing problems, can tie up the print server.

Why did the image on my poster turn out fuzzy when I printed it out?

Images with a low resolution (100dpi or less) will appear fuzzy and pixelated when enlarged. This is common with images you may have downloaded from the web. Use images that are at least 150dpi at their final size.

Are there any special considerations when printing a poster from a PowerPoint slide?

PowerPoint was not developed as a print layout software package. It is important that the proper steps are taken to ensure your file will print successfully.See our quick-start guide  and design help sections. 

What kind of paper do you have?

We only offer satin photo paper. It has a semi-gloss feel to it.  We also offer a polyester fabric material that is foldable and suitable for travel. 

Wait! I have more questions!

The fastest way to reach us is by email!