The Makerspace@Kenan Science Library offers a free 3D printing service to UNC-Chapel Hill affiliates. To have us print a 3D file for you on any of our available 3D printers, email us to schedule an in-person appointment: email@example.com.
Our 3D printers use PLA (a cornstarch-based plastic), ABS (like LEGO bricks), or resin. Set up a consultation with us to learn more about the properties of these materials. This chart shows the compatibility of several plastics with various materials.
What are the maximum dimensions in which the 3D printers can print?
FormLabs Form 2 has a build volume of 5.7 x 5.7 x 6.9 in.
The Lulzbot TAZ 6 has a build volume of 11 x 11 x 9.8 in.
The Lulzbot Mini has a build volume of 6 x 6 x 6.2 in.
The Ultimaker 3 has a build volume of 8.5 x 8.5 x 7.9 in.
The uPrint SE Plus has a build volume of 8 x 8 x 6 in.
How detailed can the 3D printer get?
Our 3D printers can produce layers down to 100 microns (0.0039 in.), but can lose accuracy on larger models.
How long does it take to print an item?
Build times vary depending upon several factors: size, intricacy, amount of support material required, and the number of print requests in the queue. Once your request begins printing, build times typically range from 2 hours to 48 hours each. Print jobs using the soluble supports must be soaked for roughly 24 hours to remove support material. Once the model has been completed, you will be notified via email that it is available for pick up. Files will be printed in the order they are received with priority given to academic and research projects with a deadline; during busy periods, turnaround time may be up to 15 business days. Projects for personal use are not guaranteed a specific turnaround time; larger objects and high resolution prints will take longer to complete.
Who can submit 3D print requests?
3D printing is availabe to current UNC-CH affiliates. Academic use will be given priority over other projects. Non-academic print requests have no guaranteed turnaround time and are subject to staff approval. Due to the volume of requests, please limit your submissions to one non-academic project per month requiring no more than 300g of material.
Can I operate a printer myself?
The printers will only be operated directly by staff right now. If you are interested in operating a 3D printer yourself, visit the the BeAM@Carmichael and BeAM@Murray locations. Directions and orientation times can be found here.
What material is used by the 3D printer to make the objects?
We offer PLA (polylactic acid) bioplastic, which is suitable for moving parts and and functional prototypes, on the Ultimaker 3 and the Lulzbot Mini and TAZ 6. The FormLab Form 2 uses methacrylate photopolymer resin. The uPrint SE Plus uses ABS plastic.
What happens if I forget to pick up my model?
Models that are left or not picked up after 1 week may be discarded unless prior arrangements have been made with staff.
Are there any restrictions on what I can print?
The printers are for non-commercial use only and should not be used to print items that are intended for sale. The printers also cannot be used to print weapons or facsimiles of weapons. Review our Policies page for more information.