3D Printing in build IT @SDSU Library

Submit a Model for 3D Printing

Upload the .stl files for your model online to submit a 3D print request.

Submit a 3D print request

Schedule a 3D Print Consultation

Want to learn more about the printer and your options, work with the staff to print your 3D model by bringing your .stl file on a usb flash drive to build IT @SDSU Library

Schedule a Consultation

What is 3D printing?

According to the ASTM Standard F2792 - 12a, 3D printing is the fabrication of objects through the deposition of material using a print head, nozzle, or another printer technology. The term "3D printing" is often used synonymously with additive manufacturing " a process of joining materials to make objects from 3D model data, usually layer upon layer, as opposed to subtractive manufacturing methodologies.

Our 3D Printers

Makerbot Replicator (5th Generation)

Makerbot Replicator Desktop 3D Printer User Manual


Q. How many extruders does the printer have?

A. The Makerbot Replicator uses a singe extruder to print material.

Q. What material does the printer use?

A. The printer uses PLA plastic filament.

Q. What colors can be printed?

A. While PLA filament is sold in various colors, buildIT prints in black, white, red, or blue depending on what's in the 3D printer.

Q. What are the dimensions of the largest printed object possible?

A. 9.9 L x 7.8 W x 5.9 H IN (252 x 199 x 150 H MM)

Q. How long does it typically take to print?

A.  Print time can depend on multiple factors: the object size, resolution, infill volume, print speed, etc. We recommend that you open your .stl or .thing file in Makerbot Desktop, Makerbot's free printer software, to get an estimate for how much material and time your model will need to print.

CubePro Duo

Flashforge Creator Pro

Rostock Max V2

3D Printing Tips


Low res jobs print fastest but with the least detail. High res jobs may take twice as long as low or standard res, and they may be much more delicate.

Our robot samples were printed in low resolution, standard resolution, and high resolution. Can you spot the differences in quality?

3D res triplets -- front view

3D res triplets -- back view

(Develop 3D Makerbot Baby Robot Mascot by rmcsherry http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:64227- Published on March 20, 2013)


Usually recommended, especially for lengthy jobs and for those without very stable bases. Otherwise, spaghetti happens!

Raft - 3D Printing Tip


The infill rate inside an object can be altered. Consider strength, flexibility, and cost when changing the default.

Infill - 3D Printing Tip


May be necessary or recommended to support overgrowth. Extruding material onto thin air will result in a fail!

More Tips

  • Open your .stl or .thing file in Makerbot Desktop, Makerbot's free printer software, to get an estimate for how much material and time your model will need to print.
  • Unless your model has a large base, you should use a raft to help the model adhere to the build plate while printing.
  • If your model is very large or has delicate/pointy edges, consider including helper disks on the corners of the model to avoid curl up on the edges.
  • Models can be bundled to save time and share a raft, however if one model fails, the entire print job will need to be stopped.
  • Consider printing a smaller version or at low resolution if you are testing a draft of your model.
  • How can I color my object? Nail polish is cheap, available in a wide range of colors and textures, and each color has its own brush! Acrylic and model paints should work.
  • What glue should I use to combine or repair parts? Recommendations include model airplane cement and "good quality" superglue.  Loctite and Krazyglue have product comparison charts.

Farm It Out

Do you want an expert to create your customized model?  Would you like your model to be printed in a material type that we don't have in the libraries?  Here are some options:

Some content for this page was used from "3D Printing at the UF Libraries: Home" by UF Libraries is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0