Learn About 3D Printing

What is 3D Printing?

3D printers extrude layers of plastic filament in a geometric fashion to transform your digitally-designed project or keepsake from an intangible image on your computer screen into something you can hold in your hand.  You can read more about the technology and its history here or here.

Student Technology Services will print your 3D files for free, whether they be a project for class or an amusement for your desk.   Although our services are mainly to meet the needs of students who live in the university’s residential life area, if our queue allows, we can also take on projects for WUSTL students in other areas of campus.  Our team can also recommend other 3D printing areas which may be better situated to handle your project.

We have six printers — a Lulzbot Taz 5, a Printrbot Simple, a Prusa, two Creality CR10s, and (for training and demo sessions) a Mini Lulzbot Taz — which can handle most types of prints.

What can you do with 3D printing?

Take a look at some of what we’ve printed so far.  Bring us something cool to print and we’ll be glad to add your piece to the gallery!   Last year brought us more than just memorable prints.  Check out some of our favorite memories of 2018!

How can you create a file for 3D printing?  Are there any files available on-line for printing?

There are many applications for creating 3D printing files these days.  Autocad, Autodesk Fusion 360, Autodesk 123D, Sketchup, and Blender are popular with the university community.  A more comprehensive list of 3D file editing tools can be found here.  You can also find already-created files for 3D printing at Thingiverse and Yeggi.

Our Printers

Creality 3D CR-10  Our latest printer was acquired in answer to the number of requests we’ve had for large prints. It’s been getting plenty of good press on the internet since going on sale and we’re very excited to see what this printer will do! Bed Size: 11.8 by 11.8 by 15.74 inches (30 x 30 x 40 cm).

Policy

STS’ primary focus for 3D printing is for class-related projects. Personal and non-academic requests will take secondary consideration and added to the print queue on a first-come first-served basis. At no time will STS print any object that could be considered offensive, dangerous or harmful to the students or the general public. In review of all print requests the following acceptable use policy serves as a guideline:

  • Request must abide by all applicable local, state and federal laws and University policies 
  • Students will not be allowed to create unsafe, harmful, or dangerous objects or those which replicate such objects, or pose an immediate threat to the well-being of persons or property. Pursuant to University policy, no weapons or life-like replicas of weapons are allowed on campus, nor may anyone produce them in the STS area. This includes parts of weapons, ammunition, and defensive as well as offensive weapons or any object which is regulated 
  • STS shall not print any obscene or otherwise inappropriate objects which they determine, in their sole discretion, are inappropriate and not conducive for a learning environment
  • STS, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to decline any print request for any reason
  • STS will not create or print any object in violation of another’s intellectual property rights related to patented, trademarked or copyrighted materials 
  • Only authorized STS staff shall have access to and use of STS 3D Printers