3D Printing Service @ Cameron Library
What kind of service is this?
This is a “mediated” 3D printing service, which means you create and submit your 3D model, and we print it for you (for free!). This provides low-barrier access to 3D printing technology; you still get to be creative, design models, test out how the model will work, and get to use the printed object once it’s printed for your research, presentations, etc.
Who is eligible to print?
This service is free to University of Alberta students, faculty, and staff wanting to print a 3D object for educational purposes. This may include models for an assignment, research instruments, prototypes, creative designs, or others.
MAKERSPACES ON CAMPUS
- Digital Scholarship Centre
- Augustana Campus 3D Printshop
- The Shack (Fac of Sci)
- Elko Engineering Garage
At Cameron Library, we have four Prusa MK3 printers and two Prusa MK2S printers. These are our primary printers. For full specifications of the machines click the links below:
- Prusa MK3: https://www.prusa3d.com/new-user-mk3/
- Prusa MK2S: https://www.prusa3d.com/new-user-mk2s/
The DSC Makerspace allows access to the following printers (please visit their site for information about using these printers):
- Ultimaker 2 Extended+: https://ultimaker.com/3d-printers/ultimaker-2-plus
- Ultimaker 3 Extended: https://ultimaker.com/3d-printers/ultimaker-3
- FormLabs Form 3 (not available for unmediated service): https://formlabs.com/3d-printers/form-3/
At Cameron Library, we use PLA filament.
To prepare jobs for printing, we use either PrusaSlicer or Ultimaker Cura. To learn more and try them out, please visit their websites:
Other Slicing Software:
- Slic3r is an open source software that converts STL files into Gcode. It is also useful for cutting and saving models into multiple pieces.
PREPARE YOUR MODEL
Here are some things that you will want to consider before submitting your design to Cameron Library’s 3D printing service. For unmediated alternatives (wherein users do the printing themselves), please consult the DSC or TheShack.
Our 3D printers work by laying-down streams of filament one later at a time. If your design includes any parts that hang over 45 degrees, it will require our staff to consider the following solutions:
- print the model using auto-generated supporting material
- reorient the model to facilitate layer-by-layer printing
- modify the model (eg: cut it into 2 pieces using Slic3r)
- send the model back for redesigning
For more information about overhangs and supports, please view 3D Printing Overhang: How to 3D Print Overhangs.
The default infill amount for the printers at Cameron Library is 5%. For some basic information about 3D printing infill, please view 3D Printing Infill: The Basics – Simply Explained. Requests for higher infill will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
All submissions need to be stereolithography files, with an STL extension (.stl).
Objects printed at Cameron Library are printed on a bed that is 210 x 210 mm. The maximum height (z axis) that the printers can accomodate is 250 mm. We are unable to accomodate models that do not fit within these dimensions. To confirm that your object will fit on our printers, you can download and install the same Prusaslicer software that we use and import your model.
At Cameron Library, 3D printing is only done during our Service Desk opening hours. We recommend submitting models that will print in 4-6 hours. With our default printer settings (0.15 mm layer height and 5% infill), a golf ball would take 1 hour and 15 minutes, and printing a baseball would take 2 hours and 15 minutes. Larger prints may be considered upon consultation.
If your model includes multiple parts, make each as a separate STL file. You can submit up to 5 files in one submission.
Our 3D print software uses metric measurements (mm). If your model was designed using imperial measurements, it may appear on our end as being either very minuscule or very large. In these cases, you may be asked to adjust your design to compensate for this discrepancy and resubmit. A good way to test this is to download and install the same Prusaslicer software that we use and import your model.
- The library's 3D printers may only be used for lawful academic purposes. No one is permitted to create material that is:
- For commercial purposes
- Prohibited by local, provincial, or federal law.
- Unsafe, harmful, dangerous, or poses an immediate threat to the well-being of others.
- In violation of another's intellectual property rights. For example, you cannot reproduce material subject to copyright, patent, or trademark protection.
- The library reserves the right to refuse any 3D print request.
- The library cannot guarantee model quality or stability, nor confidentiality of designs. Responsibility for removing rafts and supports is up to the user.
- Items must be picked up by the individual who submitted them or their designee, using valid ID (ONEcard preferred). Items not picked up within 30 days of being printed become the property of the Library.
- The 3D printing queue is prioritized based on factors such as academic priority, class due dates, reprints, and other issues as they arise. We reserve the right to alter the queue order based on these factors or others.
For more guidance, we recommend reviewing the University of Alberta’s Opening Up Copyright instructional module: Makerspaces and Copyright
MAKERSPACES ON CAMPUS
For hands-on 3D printing experience, check out the makerspaces on campus:
- Digital Scholarship Centre (DSC)
- Augustana Campus 3D Printshop
- The Shack (Faculty of Science)
- The Elko Engineering Garage
3D PRINTING STATS
Cameron Library at the University of Alberta Library has been running a free 3D printing program since 2016. In that time, we have successfully printed approximately 4679 jobs. If you have any questions about this program or the statistics shown here, contact us at email@example.com.