Texas Tech University

3D Printing Services

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Frequently Asked Questions

Where are the 3D printers located?

Advanced Technology Learning Center located in the west basement of Library Building

How do I print?

Submit a .stl file for printing using our online form. After submission you will be contacted by a Technology Support staff member with an estimated cost and time of completion. The person submitting the file will be required to provide approval before actual printing will begin. Once the printing is complete, you will be contacted with a final cost due in full upon pick up of the completed item.

Where do I get a .stl file?

One way is to design and create the file in CAD software which is way beyond the scope of this FAQ. Another way is to download the files from a trusted website such as Thingiverse.

What software can I use to check my file before printing

Netfabb Basic can be downloaded for free from www.netfabb.com and will be able to give you information about your file prior to submission. This information can be useful in determining if your file is ready for printing or requires additional modification.

What is the maximum physical size of an object that I can print?

MakerBot Pro can print objects up to 11.2" x 6.0" x 6.1".

What are the file size limits?

Files submitted through the web form will be limited to 5 MBs for now. Files up to 25 MBs can be submitted as an email attachment. Files larger than 25 MBs will be handled on a case by case basis through Large File Transfer or flash drive storage.

How can I tell if my file is ready to print?

You can use software like netfabb to check the "watertightness" of the file.

What do you mean when you say "watertight"?

When you think about “watertight”, think about the hull of a ship - you want it to be solid, without any gaps. A 3D model is similar, you want it to be watertight in the sense that the surface of your model has a solid face and that all of the surface faces of your model are oriented correctly (not inside out). If your model .stl file has overlapping faces, internal overlaps or has a missing or misaligned surface face, then your model is not watertight and will not print correctly on a 3D printer.

How long does it take to print a 3D item?

That depends on the size and complexity of the item being printed. Small simple items can finish in as few as fifteen minutes while larger jobs can several hours.

Can I print in 2 or more colors?

No. At this time, 3D printing is limited to one color per print job. However, you can print different single color jobs within the same project.

How much does it cost?

Printed items can vary greatly in size and weight and will be priced according to the amount of material used. Specifically, each project will cost $2.00 for setup fee + $0.10 per gram of material.

How can I pay for my item?

Technology Support accepts cash, check, or departmental FOP only.

Can I pay before printing my file?

Unfortunately this is not possible since we cannot determine final price until the job is completed and weighed.

Where do I pick up my printed item?

The reception desk in the Advanced Technology Learning Center in the west basement of the Library.

Can I pick up my roommate/classmate/brother/sister's print job?

Unfortunately no. The person who submitted the print job will be the only person allowed to pick it up and ID will be checked.

What is the difference between a project and a print job?

A project consists of at least 1 print job and can include up to 10 individual print jobs. Print jobs consist of a single file for printing. Print jobs within a project will be printed in the same session when possible and will be grouped together for purchasing.

Will my file be stored in case I want to print it again?

Short answer no. Multiple print jobs can be submitted for each project but once a project has been completed successfully, the associated files will be removed. Future print jobs will require the file to be resubmitted.

Will there be any changes to my file after I submit it for printing?

No. Technology Support will not alter submitted files even for scaling or re-sizing.

Can I provide my own filament for printing?


What if my question is not asked?

Contact the 3D Print Staff team at IT3D@ttu.edu

What are the technical specifications of the 3D printer?

Technical Specifications

  • Print Technology: Fused Deposition Modeling
  • Build Volume: 28.5 L x 15.3 W x 15.5 H cm [11.2 x 6.0 x 6.1 in]
  • Layer Resolution: 100 microns [0.0039 in]
  • Positioning Precision: XY: 11 microns [0.0004 in] Z: 2.5 microns [0.0001 in]
  • Filament Diameter: 1.75 mm [0.069 in]
  • Nozzle Diameter: 0.4 mm [0.015 in]
  • Software Bundle: MakerBot MakerWare
  • File Types: STL, OBJ, Thing
  • Operating Systems: Windows (7+) Mac OS X (10.6+) Linux (Ubuntu 12.04+)
  • Connectivity: USB, SD card (both included)
  • Chassis: Powder coated steel
  • Body:PVC panels
  • Build Platform: Glass
  • XYZ Bearings: Wear-resistant, oil-infused bronze
  • Stepper Motors: 1.8° step angle with 1/16 micro-stepping
  • Storage Temperature: 0°–32° C [32°–90° F]
  • Operating Temperature: 15°–32° C [60°–90° F]
  • AC Input: 100–240 V, ~2 amps, 50–60 Hz
  • Power Requirements: 24 V DC @ 6.25 amps