Location: Main Library 118B
3D Printing service is closed over the summer.
- Bring your file (in .stl, .obj. or .thing format) to the 3D Printing desk, located on the 1st floor of the Main Library, near the reference area in room 118B.
- 3D Printing library staff will review your file and prepare it for printing. Staff will fill out an order form, and provide you with the estimated cost of your print.
- Staff will print your object when a printer is available.
- When your print is completed, you will receive an email with the final cost of the print.
- Pick up your printed object from the Main Library Circulation Desk. You must present your Bison ID and payment to pick up your print. We accept cash, check, Bison Bucks, and credit/debit cards.
To improve the quality of prints, our software will automatically add a raft to your printed object if it is necessary. Rafts are a thin layer of PLA plastic that is printed at the base of the print that help the object stick to the build platform and maintain the integrity of the shape while printing. Rafts can be removed from the object once the print is completed. Pliers and other tools are available at the circulation desk for you to remove rafts.
To improve the quality of prints, our software will automatically add a supporting framework of PLA plastic to areas of overhang on your object if it is necessary. These supports can easily be removed from the object once the print is completed. Pliers and other tools are available at the circulation desk for you to remove supports.
Printing resolution refers to the thickness of the printed layers. Our printers have the capability to print in three levels of resolution: low, standard, and high. Higher resolution prints have thinner layers, allowing the object to have more defined features. Because of this, higher resolution prints will take longer to print and have a higher cost. Users have the option to select their preferred level of resolution. The default is to print at standard resolution.
To improve the strength of printed objects, our software adds an infill of hexagonal material inside hollow parts of an object. By default we use an infill of 10%. If you need to make your object stronger or more solid, you may want to increase the infill percentage. Increasing the infill percentage will lengthen the printing time and the printing cost.
We have four MakerBot Replicator 2 printers, which are consumer-level 3D printers. Our printing material is PLA (polylactic acid) bioplastic. The MakerBot prints supports and rafts in same material as model. The maximum build size is 11.2 x 6 x 6.1 in. (285 x 153 x 155 mm).
Find or Make a 3D Model
Software on NDSU Cluster Computers
AutoCAD and Sketch-Up 3D (Pending) are available on NDSU's cluster computers. For help with AutoCAD and SketchUp, contact the TLMC.
Free Modeling Software
Use OpenSCAD for creating solid 3D CAD models
Sketch-up is free for educational use, but requires registration. Tutorials are available at sketchup.com
For more design software, check out the list from 3ders.org.
Model Checking Software
Model checking software is used to clean up mistakes in your model, like holes or unnecessary lines.
This software is free, but requires registration. Use it to repair STL, OBJ, or 3MF files.
The free version provides mesh edit, repair and analysis.
Download Free 3D Models
The NDSU Libraries' 3D printers may be used only for lawful purposes. No one will be permitted to use the Libraries' 3D printers to create material that is:
- prohibited by local, state or federal law.
- in violation of another’s intellectual property rights. For example, the printer will not be used to reproduce material subject to copyright, patent, or trademark protection.
See NDSU's copyright policy for more information.
Library staff reserves the right to refuse any print jobs.