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3D Printing Guide: Printing Policy

How to utilize the Lee Library's 3D printer. Includes direction on obtaining or designing files for print and the procedures for preparing and sending for print.

HBLL 3D Printing Policy

The Harold B. Lee Library provides 3D printing technology as part of its mission to provide resources and services that support and advance the education and scholarship of BYU students and faculty. In order to best serve the BYU community, the Library adheres to the following regulations and policies.

Who Can Print 3D Objects at the HBLL?

People allowed to use the 3D Printer:

  • Currently enrolled BYU students
  • BYU faculty
  • BYU Staff
  • Non-BYU Library patrons (could subject to quantity limitations depending on our current queue)

In general, 3D objects are printed on a first-come, first-served basis. However, priority will be given to students printing academic objects that influence their grade in a current course. Because of limited staff and hardware resources, the HBLL does not guarantee specific delivery times. It is recommended to budget at least 48 hours from time of submission to delivery.

What Can’t Be Printed at the HBLL?

The HBLL will not print models that may result in legal action against the University, its employees, and/or its students. To ensure the safety of the BYU community and compliance with the BYU Firearms & Weapons Policy, no object that may function as a weapon, or part of a weapon, will be printed. Facsimiles of weapons will not be printed.

The HBLL will not print models that infringe on intellectual property rights including items/objects that are:

  • Copyrighted
  • Patented
  • Trademarked
  • Registered Designs
  • Any other Proprietary Object

Additionally, no object should in any way be:

  • Pornographic
  • Illegal
  • Obscene or Offensive
  • Pose a Risk to or Endanger Others

Accordingly, library staff may ask you to provide proof that the work to be printed is:

  • Your creation
  • Public domain
  • Part of your research or coursework at BYU
  • Does not conflict with any BYU policy or the restrictions stated above

In some cases it may be necessary to provide either written confirmation from an instructor that an object is for a class/project, a written approval by University Police, or both.

Cost of 3D Printing

The HBLL charges for 3D-printing using a cost-recovery model based on the amount of material used. The final product will be weighed and the patron charged: $0.20 per gram for .2 mm resolution, or $0.30 per gram for .1 mm resolution.

Failure to pick up a printed object within two weeks of printing will result in the cost being charged to your account as a library fine. Estimates of cost are available prior to placing an order based on the digital 3D model to be printed.

Limitations

Limitation Include: 

  • File formats .stl, .obj, .thing.  Most CAD and other 3D modeling software will export to these file formats. HBLL computers in the Science area (immediately in front of the Science Helpdesk) and instruction rooms 2233 and 2234 have Autodesk, Meshlabs, & Blender software packages available for 3D modeling.  
  • Please Avoid using SketchUp as we cannot guarantee that the projects will print correctly
  • Maximum print size is 11.2 L x 6.1 W x 6 H inches (28.5 x 15.5 x 15.25 cm) or 12.75 inches (32.4 cm) diagonal
  • Currently only PLA (polylactic acid) plastic is available for printing
  • This service is designed for rapid prototyping, not production. No jobs printing large numbers of identical objects will be accepted
  • All 3D models will be printed by HBLL staff
  • Failed prints due to errors within the 3D model will still be charged for materials used
  • Failed prints due to HBLL staff error or hardware failure of the 3D printer will not be charged