Home 3D Printing Services

3D Printing Services

The NDSU Libraries provide 3D printing as a drop-off service at the Main Library for NDSU students, staff, and faculty.  3D printing is an additive manufacturing process in which a three-dimensional object is built by laying down successive layers of thin material.

If this is your first time 3D printing with NDSU Libraries, we highly recommend coming to the 3D printing desk in the Main Library. We are open Monday-Friday 10-11am and 2-3pm. If you have any questions, please email us at ndsu.library.3dprint@ndsu.edu.

New to 3D printing?

Return Customers

Fall 2016

 

Monday-Friday:         10:00am-11:00am

                                      2:00pm-3:00pm

 

Closed weekends, holidays, and semester breaks. 

 

 

Contact Information

 

Phone: 231-5565

Location: Main Library 121

Email: ndsu.library.3dprint@ndsu.edu

Print Cost

 

The cost to 3D print is $5 per hour (about $0.09/minute), minimum charge $5. The cost is based on the time it takes to print your object(s). 

First Time Customers: 

  1. Bring your file (in .stl, .obj. or .thing format) to the 3D Printing desk, located on the 1st floor of the Main Library in room 121, during open hours.
  2. 3D Printing library staff will review your file and prepare it for printing. Staff will review all options available for your print. 
  3. Staff will fill out an order form, and provide you with the estimated cost of your print.
  4. Staff will print your object when a printer is available.
  5. When your print is completed, you will receive an email with the final cost of the print.
  6. Pick up your printed object from the Main Library Checkout Desk. You must present your Bison ID and payment to pick up your print. We accept cash, check, and credit/debit cards.

Return Customers: 

You have the option to bring your file to the 3D Printing as per the process above OR you can submit your print job through our online submission form. Below is the process for the online submission: 

  1. Click on the 'Return Customers' button at the top of this page.
  2. Fill out all the fields on the submission form and attach your file (.stl only). 
  3. Check the box indicating that you acknowledge and agree to the service terms of the online submission.
  4. Staff will print your object when a printer is available.
  5. When your print is completed, you will receive an email with the final cost of the print.
  6. Pick up your printed object from the Main Library Checkout Desk. You must present your Bison ID and payment to pick up your print. We accept cash, check, and credit/debit cards.

Resolution

Resolution refers to the height of the layers in your print. The higher the resolution, the thinner the filament layers. Prints made with thinner layers will create more detailed prints with a smoother surface where it is difficult to see the individual filament layers. The thinner the filament layers, the more time it takes to print (and increased cost) since there will be more layers that make up your object. If you are printing something without a lot of detail or where detail is not necessary, thicker filament layers will get you a faster print (thus costing less) but the surface will be rougher and the individual filament layers more visible. Our printers have the capability to print in three levels of resolution: low, standard, and high. Users have the option to select their preferred level of resolution. The default is to print at standard resolution.

 

Infill

Infill refers to the density of filament inside your print. For example an infill of 10%, would be 10% filament and 90% air. 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 increase the printing cost. Our staff will review your object and recommend the appropriate infill density, generally this is between 10% and 20%. 

 

Rafts

Rafts are a thin layer of filament printed at the base of the print and act as a platform that can help the object stick to the build plate and maintain the integrity of the shape while printing. Rafts can be useful when printing objects with small parts at the bottom, helping to anchor the object to the build plate. Rafts can be removed from the object once the print is completed. 

 

Supports

Supports are scaffolding that help to hold up objects that don't have enough base material to build off of as they are printing. 3D printing works by printing layers on top of each other. If your print includes parts that extend past a 45 degree angle, there will be nothing on which to build the layer. These parts are called overhangs and can create a dropping effect without the use of supports. Our software will automatically add supports to overhangs on your object if it is necessary. These supports can easily be removed from the object once the print is completed. A file will remove any marks left on the finished object. 

 

Shells

Shells refer to the number of times the outer walls of your object are traced with filament before starting the infill. This defines the thickness of the side walls and is one of the biggest factors in the strength of your finished print. If you need a finished print that is more durable, an increase in the shells will help to achieve this. Our staff will review your object and recommend the appropriate shell thickness.

3D Printers

 

 

 

       We have four MakerBot Replicator 2 printers.

       These printers print 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). 

 

 

 
CC Image courtesy of Creative Tools on Flickr

 

 

 

       We have two LulzBot TAZ 6 printers with LulzBot TAZ Dual Extruder Tool Head v2 on each printer.

       These printers can print supports and rafts in different materials from the model.

       The maximum build size is 11 x 11 x 9.8 in (280 x 280 x 250 mm).

 

 
 
https://www.lulzbot.com/store/printers/lulzbot-taz-6

 

 

3D Scanners

 

 

       

 

       We have a Sense 3D scanner that can be utilized to scan objects ranging in size from 8in x 8in x 8in to 6.5ft x 6.5ft x 6.5ft. 

       This scanner can be checked out at the Main Library Checkout Desk. Information on software and use is included with the scanner. 

 

 

 

 
http://www.dezeen.com/2013/11/11/sense-low-cost-handheld-3d-scanner-by-3d-systems/

 

 

 

       We have a Matter and Form 3D Scanner that features a built-in turntable. 

       This scanner can scan objects up to 9.8 inches in height, 7.0 inches in diameter, and 6.6 lbs in weight. 

       This scanner can be checked out at the Main Library Checkout Desk. Information on software and use is included with the scanner. 

 

 

 

 

https://www.matterhackers.com/store/printer-accessories/matter-and-form-3d-scanner

3D printing is an additive manufacturing process in which a three-dimensional object is built by laying down successive layers of thin material.

Our Makerbot Replicator 2 printers use PLA (polylactic acid), which is a biodegradable plant-based bioplastic usually made from corn or sugarcane. PLA is very strong, although thin pieces or connections can be brittle.

Our LulzBot TAZ 6 printers use nGen, which is a co-polyester made with Eastman Amphora AM3300 polymer. nGen has a high temperature tolerance and is very durable and accurate. 

 

There are collections of 3D models available online where you can download .stl, .obj. or .thing files created by others. Some examples are Thingiverse, 3D Warehouse, and the Smithsonian X 3D. Take note that some of these objects may be 3D files but are not suitable for 3D printing. Contact us with any questions. 

Sorry, at this time 3D printing services are restricted to NDSU affiliates. For alternative 3D printing services, try Fargo 3D printing or Shapeways.

Color availability will change as we restock filament. Check with 3D printing staff to see what we have at the moment.

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.
  • unsafe, harmful, dangerous or poses an immediate threat to the well-being of others. (Such use may violate the terms of use of the manufacturer.)
  • 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.

Yes, we’d be happy to work with you to schedule a class workshop or collaborate on an assignment. Contact us at ndsu.library.3dprint@ndsu.edu.

At this time, we are not offering 3D printing workshops for Fall 2016. 

AutoCAD and SketchUp are available on NDSU's cluster computers. For help with AutoCAD or SketchUp, contact the TLMC.

 

There are several online resources that are free of charge: 

       Tinkercad is an easy, browser-based 3D design and modeling tool. The website features numerous tutorials and tips on how to use this tool. 

       3DTin is accessed through Chrome and Firefox browsers and features an easy to use interface including a library of templates you can add to your design. 

       Blender is an open source software that can be downloaded onto your desktop. It features an interface similar to more advanced softwares and can be used for creating 3D images not just 3D models.

 
 
NDSU Libraries does not provide instruction on any 3D modeling software. 
Last updated: 8/15/2016