Type of 3D Printer Available
The Rod Library Learning Commons has the Makerbot Replicator Fifth Generation. This 3D printer uses 1.75 mm polylactic acid (PLA) filament. PLA is a bioplastic made from renewable resources such as corn starch. Current colors available are listed on Rod Library Learning Commons’ 3D printing web page.
The Makerbot Replicator Fifth Generation has the following build volume:
25.2 L x 19.9 W x 15.0 H cm [9.9 x 7.8 x 5.9 in]
Additional specifications and information about the Makerbot Replicator Fifth General can be found at http://store.makerbot.com/replicator.
Who can print?
The 3D printer is available for use by all University of Northern Iowa students, faculty, and staff. Community members will also be eligible to use the library’s 3D printer. Printing is done on a first-come first-served basis taking into account the following priority order: students printing objects for course work, students printing other works, faculty, staff, and then the community.
The Library’s 3D printers may be used only for lawful purposes. Those wanting to print will not be permitted to use the Library’s 3D printers to create material that is:
a. Prohibited by local, state or federal law.
c. Obscene or otherwise inappropriate for the Library environment.
d. In violation of another’s intellectual property rights. For example, the printers will not be used to reproduce material that is subject to copyright, patent or trademark protection.
Only designated library staff will have hands-on access to the 3D printer.
Cost of 3D Printing
Beginning Fall 2016 the cost to print will be $.25 per gram. Any person that requests a print job and does not pick it up will lose their right to 3D printing for the rest of the semester after two such occurrences.
Users must submit their files in .STL format. Users will need to fill out and submit the 3D Printing Request Form along with their .STL file. Library staff will review the file and send a confirmation email to the address provided that the submission has been received. The email will state whether the file has been approved and any important information for the user including approximate cost. Library staff may need additional information about the print job or may need to schedule a consultation with the user.
Once the file has been printed, staff will send another email informing the user the due date to pick up the model.
If you have several files to print, please submit each of these separately by filling out a separate 3D Printing Request Form for each print. All submissions are subject to approval based on scheduling and availability. There may be times that the printer is malfunctioning, being repaired, or is being used for an event or a course. During such times, the 3D printer may be unavailable for use and there will be a delay in approving submissions and printing objects. Any significant lapses in printing time will be noted on the 3D printing web page.
After the submission has been printed and the print has been picked up or the two week time limit to pick up the object is over, the submitted file will be deleted by library staff.
Users may see slight imperfections in their prints. Small bumps or holes and rough edges at the base of an object may occur with 3D printing. You can clean up some of the imperfections with fine sand paper or other tools. Such items will be available in the Rod Library Learning Commons Makerspace. The Makerbot Replicator is very accurate, but there may be some instances where objects do not fit precisely together.
The Makerbot Replicator builds objects from the ground up. There are instances where certain prints will require support material and / or rafts to ensure proper printing. Support material is often needed if the design has large overhangs or parts suspended in mid-air. Rafts are often used as support at the base of the model. These types of additions are easily removable by the user. Staff will not be responsible for removing any supporting material and / or rafts for the user.
How long does it take?
Small projects may take more several hours, complex jobs may take a few days. We will attempt to complete your job within 7 days. The print will be attempted twice before it is declared a fail. At this time, there will be no charge for failed attempts.
Requesting a 3D print
Submit print request:
Please read the 3D Printing at Rod Library - Printing Policy.
Fill out the 3D Printing Request Form. If you have any special instructions, please include them in the Additional Comments box on the form.
For each object you want printed, please submit a separate form and .STL file. If the object requires more than one file, you may submit up to five files for the object at a time.
Library staff will send you a confirmation email when they receive your form and file. If there is any additional information needed, it will be included in the email.
If your print is time sensitive, please allow adequate time. Most prints will be finished in a few days, but there may be times that the printer is malfunctioning, being repaired, experiencing heavy use, or is being used for an event or a course.
Pick up your model:
You will be notified by email when your model is ready for pick up. Models will be held at the Rod Library Circulation Desk on the main floor for two weeks.
If you would like to meet with a library staff member for additional information about 3D printing or if you have questions please email Gail Bunz (Learning Commons Coordinator) at firstname.lastname@example.org.