3D Print Center Info
Below is a list of things to keep in mind and rules to follow if you send your STL files to the ECE Resource Center to be 3D printed. It should also be said explicitly that all “orders” will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. So if you want things done as quickly as possible, send them to us as soon as your parts are finished. It should be noted that if you submit a large print, it may take more time than smaller items since we can print many small items at once. For researching tolerances, we have 3 CR10-V2 printers, bed size 310mm x 310mm x 350mm, with a 0.4mm nozzle.
CURRENT LEAD TIME: 4-7 BUSINESS DAYS
CAD Export & Upload
1) In your choice of CAD software, make sure that you export your STL file in millimeters. If you don’t know what this means, take a moment to experiment. Open a CAD file. Click on file/save as/ and click on the file extension “.stl”. Every CAD software has a tutorial on how to do this on their website.
2) Be aware of the structure you’re trying to 3D print. Basically, try and understand the limitations of a 3D printer. This means parts that have a significant amount of “overhang,” should be designed carefully. Think of a bridge as an example. If a 3D printer were to try and print a bridge, at some point, it would have to print plastic onto thin air. In order to do this with any level of accuracy, support material must be included in the design of the part. Or support material can be added automatically by using our choice of Slicer. This lowers the overall quality of the part and should be avoided if possible.
3) Upload your STL file(s) here.
4) "Create Print job" where you will upload your STL, select the material, purpose, and provide any additional details in the notes section. NEW FEATURE! You can now submit .zip files with multiple parts! Please do not submit 30 requests of individual parts, simply zip your individual parts together in one print request. (The maximum file upload is 500MB.) If you require multiple copies of a part, either duplicate that file in your zip file or let us know in the notes section of your request. We will not support file types other than STL or ZIP.
(Note resin is for special uses only, where you will need to provide your reasoning for the resin, and the technologists will have to approve. Allow for additional time in printing)
5) Once you see that your part has been marked as complete, your part can be picked up on the cart outside of Engineering Hall 317. Please allow 1-3 business days for your print to be completed. Plan around this, design ahead of time - don't expect same-day prints.
During finals week and the weeks leading up to it, the volume of submissions for prints will greatly increase as many will be completing final projects in a last-minute rush to submit them on time. This causes our print queue to become backed up with 100 or so requests. Please continue to check this Wiki page for updates as information is subject to change.
Failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on ours.
Reasons we Reject Prints
If your print is rejected you will see that listed in the "Print Status" section of your request on the website, along with the staff member's reasoning in the "Notes" section of your request. This list is subject to change.
Toys: These printers are to be used for class, research, clinic, and engineering-related personal projects. We will not print tchotchke items downloaded from Thingiverse. If we feel that your print request does not align with one of your class projects we will reject your request and reach out to you for more information. If you wish to print personal projects, contact the engineering 3DPC (3D Printing Club) of visit the Maker Space in Business Hall (Studio 231).
Exported Incorrectly: When you export your part to be an STL it must be exported in millimeters! If you export a print in inches or otherwise, our slicer will load it to be microscopic or larger than the printer. If your part is too small or too large, we will assume that it was exported incorrectly.
Unrealistic Part Sizes: These printers are not magic, they do not have the same production quality as injection molding. There are limits to our printers, these are your design constraints. Complex parts that are less than 20mm will most likely come out with poor quality. If your design requires extreme accuracy, email your technologist explaining why and request a print in resin. On the other hand, if your part exceeds the build volume of our printer (310mm x 310mm x 350mm) we will reject your print as well. If you require parts that are larger than the build volume, reach out to your technologist.