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3D Printing at Stanley Library: Before You Print

Here, you will find all of the guidelines you need to use the 3D printer. Please pay close attention to all parts of this guide before trying to 3D print!


File approval:

This 3D printing service is limited to currently enrolled Ferrum students, staff, and faculty. All submissions are subject to approval based on scheduling and availability. Files will be printed in the order that they are approved, not the order that they are submitted. Approval is pending the review of the print request by Digital Media Center staff. Academic projects have priority over all other requestsPlease note that we are not able to print more than one project at a time. Multiple orders from one person will be staggered in our print queue.

Digital Media Center staff reserve the right to decline or delay any print request for any reason.

Estimated Time Frame:

Please note that printing times vary based on the number of requests in the queue, complexity, and totality of the design, and staff time and material availability. Please allow at least 1-2 weeks for printing when requesting an item. Many items will be faster, and some may take longer. A time estimation will be included in the project approval. 


Items printed on the Makerbot may have small surface defects such as bumps or holes. Please also note that while the Replicator 2x is very accurate, we do not guarantee any precise tolerances on the fitting of multi-part objects.


3D printing services are available to all Ferrum students, faculty, and staff free of charge. Charges may be implemented a later time, and the Ferrum community will be notified by email, on this guide, and on the Stanley Library website.


The Makerbot can build objects with dimensions equal to or less than 4". However, our staff can help you create multi-part objects that can be put together to make a larger item. The bigger the object, the longer it takes to print it.

Getting Started with Printing

Submit your file, link, or idea

  • Idea - If you have an idea for something you'd like to have printed, trained Digital Media Center staff may be able to help you form a model. Please be aware that it will be difficult to predict how possible the model is and how long it will take. Complete the "idea" submission form, and we will contact you to set up a consultation.
  • Link to Model - If you find a model online that you'd like to have printed, you may submit a link to that file with information. If you find a file online, it is helpful to us to send the link, not the file. The creator may have information about the file that we need to see. It is important that the file does not violate copyright laws. If you are unsure of this then please check with the consultant. Turnaround time for these models is faster, although consultation may be required. To find printable objects, check here.  
  • 3D File - You may submit a .stl or .obj file to be printed if you find or design a printable model. Turnaround time for a completed file is significantly shorter than ideas and may require less consultation. You can find free 3D design software here

Meet with a Digital Media Center consultant

  • A Digital Media Center consultant will email you to arrange an appointment.
  • During the consultation we will:
    • review the file with you in our Makerware software, checking for noticeable issues/errors, double-checking build size and determining whether your model will require rafts and supports.
    • estimate turnaround time. (3 business day minimum from the date the file is approved for printing)
    • either approve the file or give it back to you for further adjustment.
  • The consultant may offer the option to notify you with a timeframe on when your model will be printed (in case you would like to see it print in person).

Pick up model

  • You will be notified by email that your model is ready for pickup.
  • Return to Stanley Library in order to retrieve your model.

Questions? If so, please contact us or our Information Literacy & Emerging Technologies Librarian, Sierra Alley at

Once you've read these guidelines, you are ready to submit your print!



If you have any questions about the process or 3D printing in general, check our 3D Printing FAQs page or contact Stanley Library:


You are also welcome to visit us in person at the Digital Media Center, located on the first floor of Stanley Library.