Design Studio: 3D Printers

Quick Start

  • 3D digital fabrication technique for small, geometrically complex parts.
  • All files must be .SLDPRT format.
  • Undergraduate coursework only and approved student groups.
  • Submit files for 3D Printing. No self-service. TAs manufacture parts for you.
  • Recommend design consultation with TAs prior to file submission. See TA Office hours.

About This Machine

  • Make/Model: Stratasys F170
  • Three machines in house
  • Build volume: 10″x10″x10″
  • Default Material: ABS Plastic

Designing for the 3D Printer

Materials & Cost Estimation

  • By default, parts will be printed in ABS plastic, and there is no choice on material color.
  • Other plastics may be printed by request. See this link for more material options for the available printers.
  • There is no charge for use of the 3D printers for class projects; however, you may be asked to estimate part costs. Conservatively, assume $3.25 per cubic inch and estimate part volume on your CAD software.
  • (Optional) You can use GrabCAD to preview part print times, orientations, and other print controls. Click here for detailed instructions on using GrabCAD for 3D print previews.

Design Considerations

  • 3D printing should be used for smaller, geometrically complex shapes that require low-to-medium part durability.
  • Consider shelling part designs with large volume envelopes. Avoid overly thin shells (<1 mm), as they do not print well.
  • Do NOT 3D print parts that could easily be purchased as off-the-shelf components or manufactured easily by hand. Here are examples of what NOT to print.
  • If you are wondering whether 3D printing is the right option for your part, please request a design consultation with one of our TAs. Simply email them at:
  • 3D printing is an additive manufacturing operation, and this is important to consider in designs that need a particular kind of fit (e.g., press fit, slip fit). See demo boards in The Fab Lab for examples of different types of fits that can be achieved.
  • Precision: Our 3D printers have a planar (x-y) accuracy of +/- .002 mm/mm and a z-accuracy of 0.127-0.330 mm for ABS.
  • Additional design resources for 3D printed parts:

File Formatting, Submitting, & Processing

  • All files submitted for 3D printer must be in SOLIDWORKS Part Document (.SLDPRT) format. Other file types (.stl) are taken by request only.
  • Read and carefully follow the design considerations above before submitting a part to be 3D printed.
  • Once you’re all ready to submit your part, complete the 3D Print Request Form. It will ask you for the following information.
    • Information about your project (course, team number, your contact info)
    • Your .SLDPRT file
  • A TA will look over your request and will approve or reject your part for processing. The TA will correspond with you on the status of your part.
  • It generally takes 7-10 days for processing, and your part will be delivered to you as specified by your particular course, e.g., put into your project bin or pick up in designated location.
  • If you have questions about the status of your order, please contact the TAs via


Need Additional Help?

If you need assistance with the 3D printer, please email the TA team at

Fab Lab TA names and contact information listed below. Fabl Lab TA Office Hours listed here.

Ben Caro, Lead TA

Logan Butler, TA

Jessica Coto, TA

Logan Feiler, TA

Joshua Ginsberg, TA

Nikki Pilla, TA

Hermelis Reyes, TA

AcademicsDesign StudioEquipment3D Printers