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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 10"x10"x12", scaled in inches
  • pass the Shapeways tests for "plastic, white strong and flexible" (3D Tools)
    • You must provide a screenshot of the test results (contains checkmarks and render of your model) for each file
    • 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, but more complex geometries should be thicker to avoid printing issues
  • Notes

Our Service Desk staff will use the following submission process after accepting plastic 3D print jobs:

  1. Student will be notified of the estimated cost and print time
  2. Base cost for printing and washing is divided by number of people--not by surface area, volume, or numbers of objects
  3. Models will generally take one day (overnight) to print and one day (overnight) to wash
    1. These general time estimates will not hold during times of large print volume when there is a backlog
      1. Models can typically be picked up in the morning 2 days after they are submitted.
      2. When printing jobs that do not require the wash process, the average time is 1 day

Preparing to Submit

  1. Export the .STL file in your 3D modeling software of choice
  2. 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. If using 3DS Max 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.

  4. 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. Model must receive all green checks mark for "White Natural Versatile Plastic"

        1. When you see an image of your model appear in the window at the top of the Shapeways page, it may still take a few minutes to display results for all quality checks

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


  1. Bring your prepared STL file and Shapeways screenshot on a thumb drive to the Service Desk (SUT basement) to be tested, approved, and priced. 
    1. From here we will do our own Rhino naked edges test. There will be a charge of $5 to perform the naked edges test. If your model passes the test we will apply the $5 towards your print. 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 go back and re-adjust your .STL file and we will run the tests again before printing with the same charges. 
    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.
  2. If there is a queue and you have to readjust your file or would like to print a different file instead of the one you submitted that is in the queue, you will go to the bottom of the list and lose your current spot
  3. When your file is submitted for printing by the desk staff, you will receive an email about its completion
  4. 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