Information and Tips
Our 3D Printer
The Fablab is equipped with a Dimension uPrint Plus 3D Printer, capable of quickly creating durable and accurate 3D models out of ABS plastic. The printer reads STL (STereoLithography) files and builds your model by extruding a bead of ABS plastic through a computer-controlled extrusion head, working layer by layer, from the bottom up. The printer has a vertical layer resolution of .010 inches (.254mm), a minimum wall/feature thickness of .036 inches (.914 mm), and a maximum build size of 8” by 8” by 6”.
- Only STL files will be accepted for 3D printing.
- Most 3D CAD platforms (e.g. AutoCAD, SolidWorks, Rhino, etc) can natively export 3D files as STLs.
- Maya can export STLs with the aid of a downloadable MEL script.
- zBrush can export STLs with the aid of a downloadable plug-in.
- Blender (open-source/free) can be used to convert OBJs and a few other common file formats to STLs.
Checking Files for Errors
All 3D file formats are prone to errors in geometry. The most common errors are inverted faces due to reversed normals, and holes in the mesh due to bad/open edges. Files with these errors will not print correctly, and must be fixed by the client before a job can be submitted to our 3D printer.
MiniMagics is a free STL viewer which can open your 3D files and diagnose inverted normals/faces and bad edges. MiniMagics is installed on the PCs in the Self-Service area of the PrintFX lab, and can also be downloaded here: http://software.materialise.com/minimagics (Free, but requires registration).
Use of the 3D Printer is $10 per cubic inch. You are responsible for paying for all build and support material. When dropping off your job, you must indicate on the order form whether you would like to be called with a cost estimate prior to printing your model. All jobs must be paid for with your FIT ID card before the job is released.
Procedures & Policies
All work must be setup according to our file prep guidelines. We will not correct any files that are setup incorrectly. They will be returned for correction.Please come to the PrintFX service desk in Pomerantz D529A to complete a 3D Printing Order Form.
Detailed 3D Printing Guide
For more in depth 3D printing information, please download this guide.
Guide requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.