3D Printer Information

The Information Technology department provides two 3-Dimensional printers for making models and artifacts. Users must plan ahead to use these printers, as the time required to process files can take hours or days. Files must be submitted through the IT Lab Checkout Window in Brooks 203 during its normal business hours. Direct access to the 3D printers is not available to users. Please plan ahead. 

General 3D Model and Printer Notes

  • College of Design 3D printers are only available for College of Design students, faculty, and staff.
  • Students must be a current Design major, minor, or currently registered for a Design course.
  • Payment will be made using WolfPrint print credit.
  • Pre-payment is necessary before initiating build.
  • An accurate volume, build cost, and build time estimate can only be provided once the model file is processed.
  • Plan at least a few days, if not a week, in advance to take into account the build time, post-build processing, and delays.
  • STL files can be used for both 3D printers (Note: STL files do not contain color or texture).
  • (Only ZPrinter 650) VRML (.wrl) files can be used for files with colors or textures.
  • Pre-scale models so that wall thicknesses can be adjusted independent of overall scale.
  • Be sure of the units used during STL/VRML export and approximate finished build size (scaled) in XYZ.

Types of 3D Printers

Z Corp ZPrinter 650 (composite powder)
Color capable (see file formats below)

Build area: 10 x 15 x 8 in
Layer thickness: 0.0035 – 0.004 in
Typical file formats: STL (non-color) VRML (color)
3D printer software: Zprint
Model cost: $5.00 per cubic inch
Optional cost: Cyanoacrylate (CA) to strengthen model
$3 for 0.5 oz
$4 for 1.0 oz
Complementary supplies: Nitrile gloves, wax paper, paper towels

Post-build additional time:
Build and pickup limited to Checkout Office hours
Drying in printer (0.5 to 1.25 hours)
Vacuuming build area (0.25 hour)
Depowdering model (0.25 hour)
Applying CA (0.25 to 0.5+ hour)

Model not intended to bear weight or heavy usage
Fragile if thin wall thicknesses (< 0.0625 in)
Potentially difficult to extract due to fragility
Fragile models necessitate CA for post-build handling
If CA used, need to work in ventilated area due to fumes
If CA used, color becomes darker

Dimension SST 1200es (ABS plastic)
Monochrome only (ivory)

Build area: 10 x 10 x 12 in
Layer thickness: 0.010 in or 0.013 in
File format: STL
3D printer software: CatalystEX
Model cost $5.00 per cubic inch (both model and support material)
$5.25 per build plate (reusable in non-printed areas)

Post-build additional time:
Build and pickup limited to Checkout Office hours
Need access to support washer in Brooks 119
Support wash time (1.0 to 3.0+ hours)

Missing sections if thin wall thicknesses (< 0.010 in)
Unexpected support cost due to model design/orientation
Noticeable stair stepping and visible layers on print

If you have questions, please contact the College of Design IT staff in Brooks 202-204 for help. If you have a laptop you need help with, bring it with you. You can also send an email to design_help@ncsu.edu or use this form to contact the College Information Technology staff with specific information about your problem.