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Texas State University

3D Printing Services

Image of 3D printer and students using it.

Welcome to the third dimension!

Come explore the world of 3D printing on Alkek Floor 6. No reservations required. You can also submit your 3D printing project via an online form. Either way, our experts are ready to assist you in the creation of your project.

Coming in Spring 2020, 3D Printing in Alkek will move to the first floor and become part of the new Alkek One MakerSpace. 

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  • 3D printing (or additive manufacturing) is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file. The creation of a 3D printed object is achieved using additive processes.

    In an additive process an object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the object is created. The material that is called filament is extruded in layers onto the build plate to make your creation come to life.

  • 3D printing filament is the thermoplastic feedstock for fused deposition modeling 3D printers. There are many different types of filament available with different properties, requiring different temperatures to print.

    We use poly lactic acid (PLA) filament in the Alkek 3D printing lab. PLA is a biodegradable type of plastic that is manufactured out of plant-based resources such as corn starch or sugar cane.

  • 3D printed objects can have moving parts, can be sized, or can be created to be assembled later. Any object that can be designed can be printed, so long it doesn’t violate our terms of use, or isn’t to large for the build platform.

    All objects printed on the 3D printer need to comply with the University’s Copyright Policy, the Intellectual Property Policy, and the Appropriate Use of Information Resources Policy.

    Items deemed physically impossible (design causing a print failure, not enough supports, no back-fill, etc.) will be rejected. Items that will not physically fit on our build platform will be rejected or resized.

  • Although any 3D modeling software can be used, all files submitted must be one of the following:

    • .STL
    • .OBJ
    • .THING

    Files that are not in one of these formats cannot be printed.

  • All 3D print jobs are submitted via an online form. After we receive your request, you will be contacted with a time and cost estimate. Once complete, you may pay for your object at the Check Out Desk on the third floor. You will only be charged for the materials you use at the following prices:

    Core Colors $0.14 pr gram
    Special Colors $0.21 per gram
    Ultimaker Printing $0.21 per gram

    Staff and Faculty (pricing for personal print jobs)

    $0.07 per gram

     

  • A maximum of 30 continuous hours of printing for each print allowed. Any job requiring more than 540 minutes (9 hours) of print time will need to be approved by a library staff member.

  • You will not be charged if the error is a result of equipment failure (filament jam, print head clog, etc.).

    You will be charged if the error was caused by a design flaw or by not enough back-fill or supports.