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)

Original Prusa Mini+ 3D Printers [10]

  • The maximum build chamber for models to be made on the machine is (safe put 1cm margin):
  • x-axis - 180mm (7 inches)  |  y-axis - 180mm (7 inches)  |  180mm (7 inches)

Monoprince MP10 [3] (With 0.8mm nozzles for rapid lo-res prototyping)

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

3D Print File Preparations

3D print jobs are managed through the 3DPrinterOS

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”. The flat surface should be at least 10mm (may vary according to the model). Avoid trying to print a "tree" with a small base and branches above.
  • 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. Avoid large (>7 inches 170mm) square or rectangular bases that cover nearly the whole bed. These are are more difficult to start and are more prone to warping and print failure.
  • Breaking up larger models into parts that can be easily printed and reassembled is highly recommended, and may sometimes be required.
    The Great Guide to Gluing and Assembling 3D Prints - Prusa Printers

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.

In Person and Remote Printing 

Best practice for successful 3d printing is to send jobs to the printer that may start immediately while you are inside the lab so you can monitor and adjust if necessary the first layer (Links to an external site.) in person. Remote printing is permitted with the understanding that it is the users responsibility to check the print with the software camera. It is especially important to watch for the first full layer, about 10 minutes after the first layer completes successfully and thereafter about an hour in. If printing is normal do nothing. If an error occurs e.g. the first layer is peeling up or the part warps and is coming out of plane and or breaks off the bed cancel the job. 

General Queue info:

  • Jobs will be started in the order they are submitted in the DFL Online 3DPrinterOS.
  • The Papercut balance needed for the submitted print job must be present prior to the running of the print of the print. If the balance is not sufficient the user will be notified of the difference and asked to provide the balance needed. 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. 
  • DFL uses PLA (Polylactic Acid) a corn based biodegradable plastic.

There is NO GUARANTEE that items will print successfully, especially the first time, even if review through software or in person staff consultation indicates it might. 3D 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".  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.