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The MakerLab

Your complete how-to guide for enjoying the Cline Library's MakerLab.

MakerLab 3D Printing

MakerLab 3D PrintersThe Cline Library MakerLab offers 3D printing services to all NAU/CCC students, staff, and faculty as well as any Flagstaff area community members. Print components for class projects, personal model designs, or even fun toys and gifts in an array of colors!

The MakerLab's 20 MakerBot Replicator 3D printers provide detailed model printing in a hardened plastic material called PLA (polylactic acid). For more information about the capabilities of our printers, please read the printing specifications section below. 

Ready to start 3D printing? Visit the MakerLab web page to submit your 3D print request online. Instructions on how to complete the submission form are available below.

Printing Specifications

MakerBot Replicator + 3D PrinterPrinter Model

The MakerLab operates 18 MakerBot Replicator + and 2 MakerBot Z18 FDM printers.

Material

All MakerLab 3D printers print in a thermoplastic called PLA (Polylactic Acid). This material is derived from corn and as such is non-toxic and biodegradable. The MakerLab also has specialty PLA available that is infused with other materials such as wood, bronze, copper, and steel. Please note that while this specialty filament has some of the characteristics of the infused materials, the final model will remain primarily plastic. 

Model Dimensions

The maximum print size that the MakerLab can accommodate is 12" x 12" x 18" however, prints with dimensions smaller than 11" x 7" x 6" will be completed much more quickly.

Resolution

For 3D printing, resolution is measured by the thickness of the layers being printed. Thinner layers will result in cleaner and more precise final models. When 3D printing using the MakerLab our default resolution is 0.2 mm with a maximum resolution of 0.1 mm. Please keep in mind that a resolution of 0.1 mm will increase the printing cost and time and is unnecessary for most models. 

Density (Infill)

For 3D printing, the density of your model is determined by the infill percentage. When 3D printing using the MakerLab our default infill percentage is 10%, however this can be increased up to 95%. Please keep in mind that an infill greater than 10% will increase the printing cost and time; an infill greater than 50% is unnecessary for most models. 

Print Time

The time required to print a 3D model varies widely and depends on the size and complexity of the design, as well as your requested print settings such as resolution and infill. Most smaller prints (less than 3" cubed) can be printed in under two hours while large prints (greater than 8" cubed) may take up to several days to complete. After submitting your design for 3D printing MakerLab staff will provide you with an estimated print time for your model. 

Print Cost

The MakerLab charges all users a flat rate of $0.12/gram of material consumed ($0.25/gram for specialty filament). Additional charges may be added for oversized prints ($2-$7), community submissions ($3), or shipping fees ($3). Most smaller prints (less than 3" cubed) can be printed for less than $5.00 while large prints (greater than 8" cubed) may cost upwards of $50.00. After submitting your design for 3D printing MakerLab staff will provide you with the estimated print cost for your model.  

File Format

Export your 3D model from your design program as a stereolithography file, with an STL extension (.stl). This file can then be submitted to the MakerLab for processing. If you wish to process your STL file for home printing you will then need to process (or slice) your STL file using the MakerBot Print program. This process will export a .makerbot file which can be sent to the 3D printer using a flash drive.

Placing a Print Request

Visit the MakerLab website at nau.edu/library/makerlab and select the yellow "Submit a 3D Print Request" button to submit your 3D model.

This form will ask you to:

  1. Enter your contact information.
  2. Upload your 3D model file (formats include .stl, .obj, .ply, etc.).
  3. Set the dimensions of your model.
  4. Choose a filament color for printing (30 options).
  5. Specify any additional details like infill or resolution.

Once the MakerLab receives your request we will:

  1. Examine your model for errors.
  2. Slice your model using the MakerBot Print software. 
  3. Add supports to the model if necessary.
  4. Determine the model cost and send you a confirmation email (you will be able to pay online).
  5. Print your model in PLA using our MakerBot printers.
  6. Contact you via email when your model is ready to be picked up (from the Cline Library MakerLab).

 

Rules and Regulations

The library cannot guarantee model quality or stability, nor confidentiality of designs. Users are responsible for removing rafts and supports.  Please see our reprint and voucher policy for more information.

MakerLab equipment, including 3D printers, scanners, and other items, may only be used for lawful purposes. No one is permitted to create material or engage in conduct that is:

  • Prohibited by local, state, or federal law.
  • Prohibited by Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) or NAU policy, including but not limited to:
  • Unsafe, harmful, dangerous, or poses an immediate threat to the well-being of others.
  • In violation of another’s intellectual property rights. For example, you cannot reproduce material subject to copyright, patent, or trademark protection. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a printing/copying /scanning order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright or other intellectual property laws.
  • For primarily commercial purposes. Cline Library is prohibited by ABOR policy 1-105 and Arizona Revised Statute 41-2752 from competing with private enterprise.

The library reserves the right to refuse any 3D print/scan request.

Items must be picked up by the individual who submitted them using valid ID. Items must be paid for before or at time of pickup. Items must be picked up within 30 days of printing.