3D Printing


The UO Science Library has two 3D printers, the Makerbot Replicator 2 -- see how it works! and the Axiom Dual Extruder. Submit a print job electronically to psctech@uoregon.edu!


How can I submit a 3D print job and what is the cost?

The UO Science Library offers 3D printing services to all faculty, students, and staff. To submit a 3D print job for printing, our 3D priners use .stl (or STL) files common to many computer assisted design (CAD) programs. This file can be submitted electronically to staff at psctech@uoregon.edu. We will need the following information submitted with the .stl file: file name, X-Y-Z dimensions (in mm), needed resolution (300, 200, or 100 microns with 300 or 200 being recommended), object description, and any special printing circumstances such as a date that the print job is needed.


What is 3D printing and how does it work?


3D printing is a process of making a three-dimensional solid object of virtually any shape from a digital model. 3D printing is achieved using an additive process, where successive layers of material are laid down in different shapes. To perform a 3D print job, our Makerbot Replicator 2 reads the design from a 3D printable file (an .stl file format) and lays down successive layers of polyactic acid (PLA), a type of plastic, to build the model from a series of cross sections. These layers, which correspond to the virtual cross sections from the CAD model, are joined or automatically fused to create the final shape. With this technique, almost any shape or geometric feature can be created. Check out some of the UO Science Library's featured 3D print jobs: 

UO paleontologist and librarian team up to create 3-D printout of rare fossil

STEM CORE, UO Science Library help local students with rocketry project

What kind of 3D printer and plastic does the library use?

The UO Science Library has a Makerbot Replicator 2 -- see how it works! We chose a medium of PLA, or polylactic acid, for our 3D print jobs. PLA is a bio-plastic derived from corn and has a lot of features that make it great for 3D printing -- it doesn't give off fumes like ABS does (Legos are made of ABS plastic), or warp nearly as much. It comes in spools with multiple colors, clear and opaque. PLA's guaranteed not to have any heavy metals, phthalates or BPA. PLA filament prints really well at higher temperatures -- 220° C for slow speeds and 230° C with acceleration. ABS is more durable (just think about how much your Legos went through) but PLA allows for more precision detail.


What are some tips for getting started?


To create a 3D print job, access a 3D design program (many are free) that will allow you to export your file as an .stl file. 3D printing is an art -- not every 3D designed object prints perfectly and sometimes trial and error is involved to produce the desired outcome. Oregon State University Library provides a wonderful Tips, Tools & Tricks Guide to achieving a successful 3D print job. UO is offering its first 3D printing course in Fall 2014 that will focus on integrating research with 3D printing!


3D printing Policies:

Our 3D printer is in public view. Unless requested otherwise, printed objects are on display in the library and maybe shown printing in other public venues.

  • The Library reserves the right to refuse to print any 3D file.
  • 3D printers may be used only for lawful purposes. No one will be permitted to use the Library’s 3D printers to create material that is:
    1. Prohibited by local, state or federal law.
    2. 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).
    3. Obscene or otherwise inappropriate for the library environment.
    4. 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.
  • Only designated Library staff and volunteers will have hands-on access to the 3D printer.
  • Items printed from Library 3D printers that are not picked up within 7 days will become property of the Library and may be thrown away. Items must be picked up by the individual who printed them.
  • Staff will add the model to the printing queue. 
  • The library staff will review each file to set file printing parameters. These parameters includes, size orientation, resolution, scaffolding, percent fill, and outer surface thickness.
  • Printed items will be available at the circulation/Checkout desk. Note: print times are only estimated.
  • Dropped-off or emailed files for printing will be removed from library printers within 7 days of completion of a printed object. One exception to this policy is that ongoing projects with library staff will be maintained on library computers until the project is complete.
  • Procedures governing the use of the Library’s 3D printers are subject to change.