DIgital Fabrication Lab

3D Printers

Model by Grant Diffendaffer

FDM Plastic 3D Printers


Original Prusa i3 MK3S 3D Printers [12]

  • The maximum build chamber for models to be made on the machine is (safe put 1cm margin):
  • x-axis - 250mm (9.84 inches)  |  y-axis - 210mm (8.3 inches)  |  210mm (8.3 inches)

Monoprince MP10 [3] (Donated for Covid-19 PPE production)

  • x-axis - 300mm (11.81 inches)  |  y-axis - 300mm (11.81 inches)  |  400mm (15.74 inches)

Monoprince MP10 mini [6] (Donated for Covid-19 PPE production)

  • x-axis - 200mm (7.8 inches)  |  y-axis - 200mm (7.8 inches)  |  180mm (7inches)

3D Print File Preparations

All 3D prints are scheduled through Makerfleet software. The job is put into the print queue and, unless otherwise instructed, your model will be removed by staff, an email will be sent and the model waiting for you to pickup in a storage locker in the Shop-DFL shopyard.. There is NO GUARANTEE that all items will print successfully even if the review indicates it might; this printing is a process subject to mechanical, heating, weather and other conditions outside of Staff's control. Models may require several iterations in order to obtain desired results, OR may be deemed "unprintable".

File Review 

Poorly prepared files will cause delays in processing, and failures in the software used to convert files to machine code.  If you have any questions regarding your model and proper processing please schedule a remote meeting with DFL staff using the online scheduler. The following are general guidelines for file preparation:

  • Make sure that print job is a single object and is a “closed” or “solid” object/mesh/polysurface.
  • Avoid multiple “intersecting” closed objects.
  • Check that all surfaces are facing outward. (Rhino: “dir” command arrows point outward, “flip” if necessary).
  • Be sure that the object is oriented with a flat surface on the Z plane - not “floating in space”.
  • For thin walls make sure that they are at a minimum of 1.6mm in thickness, 2mm is preferred.
  • At file review, bring both the original file and the .stl (stereolithography) in a folder for ease of copying to the DFL 3D user database.
  • Avoid overhangs that are greater than 45° or plan to use support material, which can increase print time and/or cost.
  • Use inches or millimeters as the units of measurement to ensure proper scale.
  • Keep finished size 5” (127.0mm) and under will diversify the number of machines available to print the model and to reduce print time and/or cost.
  • Breaking up larger models into parts that can be easily printed and reassembled is highly recommended, and may sometimes be required.

Required for file processing:

If you would like advice from staff via a remote meeting please provide, via email and or Bbox link, the following below before the meeting: 

  • You will be expected to provide the final finished dimensions of the model.  (Rhino: Use “bounding box” to determine those dimensions).
  • Files intended for printing must be saved in the .STL (Stereolithography) format, but please have your original design file available for review.
  • For multiple items, export each one as a separate .STL file, unless otherwise instructed.

General Makerfleet Queue info:

  • The queue is managed by Makerfleet software. Up to three print jobs (actively printing and or scheduled) may be concurrent at one time. For example three jobs may be runing on three machines at once, when one finished another may be sent and if a machine is free it will start immediately otherwise it will be scheduled. Another expample of the three limit: two jobs are scheduled and one is printing. When the one that is printing finishes another may be scheduled.
  • Print jobs may be started during lab hours M,T,W and F 9a-5p. Print jobs submitted during off hours will be scheduled and start the next time the lab is open.
  • DFL uses Makerfleet software that charges from Papercut to process payment for use of 3D printing plastic material. The Papercut balance needed for the submittied print job is indicated just prior to submission of the print. The required Papercut balance for the job must be present in the account to be withdrawn when the print starts. This may be delayed if the job is put on the queue and scheduled for later. 
  • After one successful print that is approved by staff the student user access Queuer (needs approval) will be changed to Printer (no approval direct printing) to run jobs immediately. Submitting a job that runs immediately requires monitoring remotely via the webcam for the first 6 layers or so (~ 5 to 15 minutes) to ensure the first layers succeed. A notification will be sent via email on job startup and completion. Jobs queued for later will be monitored by staff as much as possible but users are encouraged to monitor their jobs on start up as much as possible. A failed print due to user error (e.g. bad model, insufficient support, too large or too small first layer bed adhesion fail etc.) may lose Printer direct printing access and be put back to Queuer needs approval. 
  • DFL uses PLA (Polylactic Acid) a corn based biodegradable plastic.
  • Email if you are a member of the lab and need to be given an account to the Makerfleet software.

Despite best efforts there are no guarantees that all items will print succesfully, especially the first time. Models may require several iterations in order to obtain desired results or may be deemed "unprintable" by our equipment. Remember that toward the end of a semester many people are using the printers and they are working 24/7 so misprints are to be expected.

Turn around time may be 24-48 hours from the appointment time and may increase during periods of high demand. All jobs will be done as soon as possible and could be completed sooner than the projected lead time.

Completed work will be placed for pick-up in an assigned locker located in the ShopYard adjacent to the Digital Fabrication Lab, 279 Wurster Hall.