3D Printing*

*We are in the process of purchasing new 3-D printers and have suspended our 3-D printing program until the new machines can be installed. If you would like to print on Campus, Tech Hub offers reasonably priced 3-D printing services. 

3D printing is a process for making a physical object from a three-dimensional digital model, typically by laying down many successive thin layers of a material. Many types of 3D printers now exist that are able to create objects made of plastic, resin, paper, and various other materials. The reach of 3D printing in education seems boundless, as a plethora of applications exist for Science, Art, Math, History, Engineering, Architecture, and beyond.

ABOUT

3D Printing at The Digital Union

The Digital Union is the only department at OSU offering 3-D printing to all students, staff, and faculty regardless of departmental affiliation, and for free! OSU folks can now submit 3D models to be printed in PLA filament on a 5th Generation Makerbot Replicator at Digital Union Stillman Hall (Room 145).

Selection Process at The Digital Union

On Friday of each week, approximately 10 submissions are selected to be printed the following week. Priority is given to submissions that most strongly demonstrate the following qualities:

  • originality (25%)
  • academic need (25%)
  • innovative, interesting, or meaningful (50%)

All submissions received by 9am Friday of each week are reviewed; those selected will be printed the following week. Submissions received after 9am each Friday will be reviewed the following Friday. Submitters will receive an email on Friday confirming whether their entry has been selected.

SOFTWARE

We recommend Tinkercad as a simple beginner-friendly program to create your own 3D model, however, several other software options are available on Digital Union computers. See this flowchart to help you decide. If you cannot create your own model, online communities such as Thingaverse, provide models for anyone to download, modify, and print for free.

Tinkercad

Available anywhere, web based, no installation required, must sign up for an account
About | Learn | Sign Up

Blender

Available on Digital Union computers
About | Support | Download

Rhino

About | Support | Mac Download | Windows Download

Maya

Available on Digital Union computers
About | Support | Download

Mudbox

Available on Digital Union computers
About | Support | Download

HARDWARE

MakerBot Replicator 5th Generation Model

Technical Specifications | User Manual | Makerbot FAQ

Makerbot PLA Filament

Technical Specifications | Material Safety Data Sheet

TERMS

The Digital Union's 3D printing service is available to OSU students, faculty and staff to make three-dimensional objects in PLA plastic based on a user-submitted digital computer file (STL format).

I. Use

The 3D printer may be used only for lawful purposes. No one will be permitted to use the 3D printer 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 University 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.

II. Assessment

The Digital Union reserves the right to:

  1. Refuse any 3D print request.

  2. Use staff discretion to organize the print queue for overall efficient output.

  3. Photograph all 3D objects printed during this pilot; publicly share user-submitted information related to print jobs. Images and information will be used for monitoring, marketing, and reporting outcomes of the service.

  4. Gather feedback from users.

  5. Implement additional requirements to streamline the process of vetting, printing, and reporting.

III. Cost

3D printing through the Digital Union is free.

IV. Pickup

Items printed from the Digital Union 3D printer that are not picked up within 7 days after being printed become the property of the Digital Union. Items must be picked up by the individual who printed them, using his or her Buck-ID.

V. Access

Only Digital Union and ODEE staff may have hands-on access to the 3D printer.

HOW TO PRINT

At Digital Union *our makerbots are under maintenance and submissions are temporarily closed

3D printing at the Digital Union is free. Read Terms above, then Use this online form to submit an STL file of the 3D model to you wish to print. On Friday of each week, approximately ten submissions are selected to be printed the following week. Therefore, lead time is typically 2 weeks. Priority is given to submissions that demonstrate academic need, originality, and innovative potential.

At Tech Hub

Tech Hub charges for printing, is capable of producing larger prints, and employs less stringent selection criteria. Therefore, this option may allow you to receive a larger version of your model, more quickly, and at a relatively modest cost. Click here to print your model at Tech Hub.

FAQ

What if my submission isn't selected?

If you feel your submission strongly demonstrates the qualities prioritized, consider that it may have been rejected simply for the fact that we had reached our capacity for print jobs that week. You may try to submit again in the future. Otherwise, you may print your model at Tech Hub for a modest fee.

How long will I have to wait for my model to be printed?

Up to two weeks. Please account for the time it will take for your submission to be reviewed by staff (1 week) and placed through the print queue (1 week). Once your job reaches the printer, it may take anywhere from an hour to a couple of days to print, depending on the size, percentage infill, and complexity of the design. Once complete, staff will remove your model from the build plate and photograph it for our records or to use on our website. You will receive an email once your print is ready for pickup.

What colors of filament can I print at the Digital Union?

Black, white, red, and cool gray. During the submission process, you may indicate your color preference, which will be granted if available. If your color preference is not available, your object will be printed in one of the other colors listed unless you specify otherwise.

How large of an object can I print?

The maximum build volume is 9.9" L x 7.8" W x 5.9" H. For other specifics, refer to the Makerbot Replicator 5th Generation Model user manual.

Can I print without having to submit an STL file?

No. All users must go through the same submission process, which involves agreeing to the Terms, and providing an STL file of the object to be printed.

How is 3D printing relevant for education?

See examples of educational uses on 3D Printing Systems' website.