3D Printing in the Library

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This Prusa MK3S 3D printer was paid for with Student Technology Fees and is provided as a service by the Library to support the coursework of UW Tacoma's students.

As a secondary goal, the Library wants to help build a maker community on campus by allowing students to learn about maker technologies like the 3D printer in a peer-taught environment. You buy the equipment, we buy the filament and provide the basic safety training, but the idea is that students will print on their own. Below is a simplified version of the procedure for printing. You will learn all about how to do this if you follow the first step!

  • Take the orientation and safety class (you can’t print without doing this) – these are offered quarterly or by request, to check availability email Tim Bostelle

  • Log on to the computer next to the printer and figure out how long your print job is going to take by slicing the object and looking at the estimated time to completion based on your settings

  • Reserve the printer for the time you just determined you need. Use the reservation system here: 

  • When your reservation time is about to start, check out the plate and SD card from the library staff. You won’t be able to check out a plate until your reservation time.

  • Export the gcode onto SD card, make sure you have your filament loaded, put the card into the printer and print!

We are often asked "can I print a gun"? The Washington Administrative Code (WAC 478-124-020) and the UW Tacoma policy forbid the possession of firearms or other weapons on campus. Thus, the 3D printer cannot be used to make weapons of any type, including replicas. In addition, the Library staff can cancel print jobs if they are dangerous, violate the law, cause harassment, or warrant alarm for the safety of others.

If you would like to learn more, including the specs of the Library's currtent printer, and find some links to resources such as tutorials on how to make your own 3D objects to print, check out the Library 3D Printing giude.


And if you ever have any questions you can just send an email to Tim Bostelle, the Head of Library IT.