link to University of Utah Home link to Marriott Library Home
Off Campus Access - Log In

3D Printing

Do-It-Yourself Printing

Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) plastic printers are available for student, staff, and faculty use. The printers are located against the south wall of the Knowledge Commons on Level 2.  Users may bring in their own filament, provided it is 3mm PLA, HTPLA, or PLA+ filament. Users are discouraged from printing with ABS, nylon, wood, or exotic filaments. If you would like to work with these materials please reach out to us at our mailing list:

The Lulzbot TAZ 6 3D printers in the Knowledge Commons are pre-loaded with Library-owned PLA filament. This material can be used by students, faculty, or staff at a cost of $0.04 per gram of material used. Once the print is complete, users can weigh the print using the nearby scale and pay for the print at the Reserve Desk on level 2.

To start a print

  1. Log into the 3D printing Mac computer using your uNID and CIS password.
  2. Launch Cura Lulzbot Edition from the dock.
  3. When prompted to choose a printer, select "TAZ 6", then "single extruder", then "single extruder v2.1".
  4. Import a design file in .STL format.
  5. Select "All" from the material ease-of-use dropdown, and "PLA (eSUN)" from the Material dropdown. This will set temperatures for the pre-loaded filament.
  6. Rotate, scale, and position the design so that the flat side is down and the print is centered on the build surface (see 3DHubs guide below for more information on design requirements for 3D printing).
  7. Use the "Print support structure" checkbox to select whether or not to generate support material.
  8. Preview your print by changing the view button at the top right of the screen from "Normal" to "Layers". You can use the slider at the bottom right to view different layers of the print. It's a good idea to check the first layer in this view mode to ensure the footprint of your build is flat on the build surface.
  9. Export your print as "gcode" and save to an SD card (cards are stored in the printers, just to the left of the LCD menu/screen).
  10. Put the SD card into the printer, and choose "Print from SD" using the dial/push button.
  11. Select your .gcode file from the SD card using the dial/push button. The printer will begin the auto-calibration routine which cleans the nozzle of any debris and touches each corner of the bed to establish a level printing surface.
  12. Observe the first layer of the print to ensure that the first layer is sticking to the print surface.
  13. When the print is completed, wait for the print bed to cool, and remove your print. If you need a print-removal tool, check out a 3D printing tool-kit from the Student Computing Services desk.
  14. If using Library filament (labeled with a "Marriott Library" tag on the spool), weigh your completed print and fill out a 3D printing receipt.

Additional Info

This guide provides a detailed description of FFF printing, and can answer most questions users might have.

For questions related to 3D Printing, 3D scanning, 3D models, or to schedule a consultation with a 3D printing specialist, please send an email to

Looking for a piece of equipment? A campus-wide list is available on the Creative Spaces website.

Printing Service

Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to learn to use the Library's 3D printers by attending a workshop and consulting documentation for individual printers. A paid printing service is available to University of Utah students, staff, and faculty. Models must be a single water-tight mesh in .STL format. Please consult the guide for more information about design requirements.

Once your model is ready to go, bring the completed STL file to the Knowledge Commons desk on a flash drive and staff will walk you through the submission process. The minimum turnaround time is 2 business days, but large prints or prints with several builds will likely take longer. You will be e-mailed when your job is complete and ready for pickup. Costs are as follows: (These prices do not affect DIY printing. If you bring your filament and set up your own print jobs there is no charge.)

Powder printing

$5 per cubic inch ($1 per object minimum), treated with:

  • Epsom salt solution
  • ColorBond ($5 per cubic inch)

Plastic printing

$3 setup fee per build
+ 4¢ per gram of weight (material cost)
+ 50¢ per hour of print time


Estimating print costs

To estimate costs on the powder printer,calculate the volume in inches and multiply by $5.00. You can also estimate the cost of a plastic print by importing the .STL file into Cura Lulzbot Edition (free, available on Windows and Mac) and reviewing print time and material weight.


You agree to abide by copyright guidelines as outlined on the Copyright Overview & Resources page.


Thomas Ferrill
Assistant Head, Creative Spaces

 Last Modified 3/6/18