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Checklist for Successful File Submission

Files MUST:

  • be exported to .STL format, one model per file
    • We will not print any STLs that contain more than one model
  • be less than 14"x10"x14", scaled in inches
  • pass the Shapeways tests for "White Processed Versatile Plastic" (3D Tools)
    • You must provide a screenshot of the test results (contains checkmarks and render of your model) for each file
      • If you change your file in any way after you run through Shapeways, you need to run it again
    • We will not print any files without an associated screenshot
  • have no naked edges
    • We will not print any files containing naked edges
  • have a minimum feature thickness of 1/16". 
    • We will not print any files containing feature thickness under 1/16"
    • 1/16" is the minimum for simple and rectilinear geometries
    • More complex geometries (such as curves) should be thicker to avoid printing issues
      • Even if your model passes Shapeways with no warnings, your print may break if complex features are 1/16"

Preparing to Submit

Naked Edges Test

  1. Export the STL file from your 3D modeling software of choice.
  2. Rhino
    1. Run your model through the naked edges test (instructions below) in Rhino and make sure there are no naked edges:
      1. Select your entire model and then go to the "Analyze" menu on the toolbar, then click on "EdgeTools," then "Show Edges." 
      2. Select "Naked Edges" and confirm that nothing gets highlighted. 
      3. If there are highlighted lines, please fix these before coming to the desk, as we will not print any files containing naked edges.
  3. 3DS Max

    1. Utilize the "STL Check" Modifier to check for model watertightness. Watertightness is a property of a mesh that has no holes or naked edges, and thus would not theoretically admit any water or fluid.

Shapeways Test

  1. Create a free account at Shapeways and click the "Upload" button to test your .STL file

    1. After uploading, go to "My Models"

      1. Click on the "..." and then "Open in 3D Tools"

      2. Note that this can take anywhere from a few seconds to many hours to process

      3. The model must receive all green checks mark for "White Natural Versatile Plastic"

      4. The photo below shows an example of the quality check results on Shapeways–this model didn't pass all of the required tests


  1. Review the "Checklist for Successful File Submission" at the top of this page before beginning the next step.
  2. E-mail the following details of your 3D print request to the SOA Tech Desk (  
    1. Approximate dimensions
    2. Scale & units
    3. Acceptance of liability if the Shapeways test has warnings
  3. E-mail your prepared STL file(s) and Shapeways screenshot(s) to the Tech Desk 3D Print Intake folder ( to be tested, approved, and priced. 
    1. Upon submission will do our own Rhino naked edges test. There will be a charge of $5 to perform this test.
      1. If your model passes the test we will apply the $5 towards your print.
      2. If your model fails the test or has any warnings, the charge will apply to What I Owe and we will not print your 3D print. You will have to adjust your STL file and resubmit your files using the checklist.*
    2. Please note that our software only allows us to confirm that your model is a closed polygon, meaning we can only see the outside faces of the object. If there is an issue with the internal structure, we may not be able to notify you at the time of submission. Please review the checklist above for more information.
  4. The Tech Desk will respond to your e-mail with a time and cost estimate for your approval.
  5. When your file is submitted for printing by the desk staff, you will receive an email about its completion
  6. You will pay for your model via What I Owe.
    1. If you do not pick up your print, you will still be charged the full amount to your What I Owe

*If you have to either adjust your file or would like to print a different file instead of the one you originally submitted, you must start the submission process over at the bottom of the queue.