3D Printing FAQs


How do I start 3D printing in the Makers Lab?

Reserve one of the 3D printers anytime the UCSF Makers Lab is open or attend a 3D Printing pop-up, held throughout the month.

How much does it cost to 3D print in the Makers Lab?

Nothing, we provide the printer and filament. Just remember to bring your UCSF ID and ideas!

What can I print?

Refrain from printing dangerous or illegal items, otherwise the possibilities are endless! Check out the NIH 3D Print Library and Thingiverse for inspiration and 3D files.

Where can I learn more about 3D printing?

Review the following resources, attend a Makers Lab pop-up, and ask a Makers Lab staff member for help:

Learn More

Get 3D Models

I have never used a 3D printer, where do I even start?

This is a good place to start, then visit us at a 3D Printing pop-up, held throughout the month.

What do I need to 3D print?

Nothing, we provide the printer and filament. Just remember to bring your UCSF ID and ideas!

What is Cura?

Cura is the software we use to prepare our files to print. Cura is free and fun, use the links to download Cura today and get started 3D printing!

How do I make a reservation to 3D print?

You can reserve timeslots on the calendar for the 3D printer of your choice with your UCSF email/MyAccess credentials. The green slots on the calendar indicate printer availability. 

What if my print is longer than 8 hours?

Although the calendar allows you to reserve up to 4 hours at a time, if needed you can email or speak with a staff member to extend your reservation in order to complete a longer print. Staff can work with you to adjust settings in Cura to keep your print within your reservation time, or help schedule your print on a backup printer.

Can I print overnight/when the Makers Lab is closed?

All prints must be finished during the hours the Makers Lab is open. We cannot run prints overnight when the Makers Lab is closed, or unsupervised, due to fire hazards. Please see above or contact for more information.

Ultimaker vs. Lulzbot Taz—which should I use?

Both the Ultimaker 2+ and the Lulzbot Taz printers are excellent machines for 3D printing. Generally, we recommend the Ultimaker 2+ for first-time 3D prints due to its ease of use. It is also  a great printer for smaller prints requiring precision. The Lulzbot Taz printers are recommended for those with prior 3D printing experience, who might want to try printing larger prints in materials other than white PLA plastic. For detailed printer specs, please visit the Ultimaker and Lulzbot Taz 6/ Mini resource pages.


What do I do if I have a problem and need help?

Turn around and ask a Library staff member for help!


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