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 four printers — a Lulzbot Taz 5, a Printrbot Simple, a Prusa and an Ultimaker 2+ — 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!

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.

How to Submit a 3D Print Job:

  1. Visit our Gregg Storefront offices with a copy of your print job’s file, OR send the file as an attachment to student.technology@wustl.edu. The files should be .STL, .3MF, or .OBJ filetypes.
  2. Specify if this print is for a class project.
  3. Give us the hoped-for deadline date for the print’s completion.
  4. Note what color you would prefer. Please include several acceptable back-up color choices as well.


We require a minimum two weeks in advance for class projects, however, keep in mind that jobs requiring multiple prints or parts could require even more time to complete.  Send an email to student.technology@wustl.edu to discuss your project with a member of our 3D team, to make sure you have the best chance of getting a print done in time for your deadline.

The first day we will accept print jobs for the Fall 2017 semester is September 10.  We will stop accepting projects submitted to us by November 21.

NOTE:  3D printing is mainly a tool for prototyping your idea.  Our printers are not for mass production of the same print.  Send a note to student.technology@wustl.edu about your needs and one of our 3D techs can recommend alternative sources for large numbers of prints.

Our Printers:

Ultimaker 2+  The very first 3D printer used by STS, this Ultimaker product is an upgrade on the award-winning Ultimaker 2 and it has garnered recognition of its own, named as the “best prosumer 3D printer” in the 2017 3D Printer Guide by 3D Hubs.  Bed Size: 8.1 by 8.8 by 8.8 inches (20.574 by 22.352 by 22.352 cm).


TAZ 5  Made by Lulzbot, this printer was named “Best overall” 3D printer by Make magazine, as well as “Best Printer Under $3,000” by 3D Forged.  Bed Size:  11.7 by 10.8 by 9.8 inches (29.718 by 27.432 by 24.892 cm).


Prusa i3 Mk2  One of the latest additions to our 3D printing area, the Prusa has become quite popular in the 3D printing community world-wide and has also been recognized by Make Magazine, in 2017 winning their award for “Outstanding Open Source”, “Best Value”, and “Best Overall.”   Bed Size: 9.84 by 8.3 by 8 inches (24.9936 by 21.082 by 20.32 cm).


Printrbot Simple  Another one of our new machines, the Printrbot Simple has become a common printer to see in educational institutions as well as Makerspaces around the world and we look forward to putting it through its paces in STS.  Bed Size: 4 by 4 by 4.5 inches (10.16 by 10.16 by 11.43 cm).


Send an email to student.technology@wustl.edu to schedule time with a member of our 3D team.  They are:

Nadine A., Andrew G., Bryan O., Puneet S., and Peeti S.

We would also be glad to schedule time for you or a small group to see the basics of 3D printing in action – from preparing a file for production, to sending it to the printer, to the final output.