3D Printing

What type of 3D Printing do we have?

We have two different types of 3D printing.

One type of printing is Fused Filament Deposition. This form of 3D printing is the most basic, with very thin layers of PLA bioplastic layered up and up to form a three-dimensional object.  We use a Makerbot Z18 printer and a Dremel 3D45.

The second type of printing is Stereolithography (SLA) printer. This printer uses a laser to write the design layer by layer into photosensitive resin which hardens when exposed to the laser. We use the Formlabs Form 2.

3D Printers are available for the University Community (students, faculty, staff, and affiliated researchers) at a discounted rate and have print priority over print jobs submitted by the public. Members of the public are welcome to submit jobs to be printed as time allows. The Missoula Public Library’s Makerspace is also available for use.

Can I get hands-on experience with the printer?

Yes, to a limited extent. Our Dremel printer allows you to set up and submit jobs remotely. It will also give you a time-lapse when the print is finished. If you are interested in this option, please email library.pawprint@umontana.edu for permission and instructions. This is limited to the UM community only.

What does it cost?

3D Printing Costs
Service UM Price Standard Price
Fused Filament PLA per gram $0.15 $0.30
Dissovable Filament per gram $0.20 $0.40
Fused Filament Nylon per gram $0.15 $0.30
Approved Filament printing (patron supplied) per minute(setup fees extra) $0.05 $0.10
Resin (Standard formulas) $0.25 $0.50
Resin (Specialty) per mL $0.30 $0.60
Setup Time (all types) per five minutes. (First five minutes free) $2.00 $6.00
Formlabs Wash Supplies Surcharge (lab alcohol, gloves) per wash $1.00 $2.00

How many colors can my model be printed in?

We have a variety of colors available in PLA. Nylon is available only in black. Resin colors are based on their material properties and change as they continually improve the formulas.

What is the model made out of?

Makerbot PLA Bioplastic or Formlabs resin

What do I need to 3D Print?3d printed fish figurine held between two fingers

You need a .stl or .obj file as well as the dimensions you desire (in mm)

Do we create or modify 3D print files?

The library only prints models, we do not help create or modify models. 

There are a variety of software design programs available for free that allow for the creation of 3D files. We also have Photoshop with 3D available on the Media computers. Websites like Thingiverse have many free 3D print files available to download or modify.

Can I print anything in 3D?

There are limitations to the resolution and capability of the current equipment. We recommend you consult with the Manager of Paw Print if you have questions or concerns about what you want to print. In accordance with Montana and federal law, illegal items will not be printed using the 3D printer nor will items that violate intellectual property rights.

How large can I print?

The maximum print size is 12" x 12" X 18" (l x w x h) for FFD printing and 5.7” x 5.7” x 6.9” on the SLA printer.

What about model failure?

We cannot guarantee the stability, quality, or part fit of a model. We cannot modify a model in any way.  Models that fail due to a mechanical printer problem will not be charged. Models that fail due to factors other than machine error will be charged for the material that was used.

What should I expect when I pick up my model?

All 3D print models will be removed from the build platform but the model will be "raw." This means that the material used to support the model (raft and supports) will need to be removed by the patron. Small strands of filament fibers may be visible between unconnected parts of the model and may need to be brushed off or removed. SLA prints will be washed and post-cured in a UV chamber. It is recommended to finish them with a UV protectant coating for longevity.

Can my 3D print be painted or finished?

The library does not offer any finishing services but models can be finished in a variety of ways. For FFD prints, fine grit modeling clay and sanding can help smooth models out and models can be painted. Using the plain white solid filament will allow for the most finishing options. SLA prints sand very well and can even have blemishes repaired by spot-fixing resin and sanding.

Where can I find more information on 3D modeling and repair?

The University of Arizona Library has a nicely done resource page that can help you out.