The 3D printing service is currently free and open to any current Columbia University affiliates (students, faculty, staff). If your request is very large and/or consists of multiple large parts, we may request a donation of material (this means a ~$30 spool). Such a donation could be used to print your request as well as any others in the queue.
Academic or educational use will be prioritized over other projects. We reserve the right to decline any print request for any reason. We cannot guarantee things such as structural integrity, quality of models, or confidentiality of designs.
We do not guarantee deadlines or turnaround times. We generally only print during business hours in order to ensure the printers have adequate monitoring, and combined with the number of requests in the queue, this means a minimum of 3-5 business days for your print to be ready; in some cases a print may take 2-3 weeks if it is a particularly busy period.
We are not a production facility. We are happy to print your artwork/prototype/experiment/etc. but if your intent is to mass-produce an item, we’ll happily point you to a directory of local services.
We will not print materials that are prohibited by local, state, or federal law; that are unsafe, harmful, or dangerous; or that are in violation of intellectual property rights (e.g. models subject to copyright, patent, or trademark protection). We will not print weapons.
You will be notified by email when your model is ready to be collected. Models are held at the front desk of the Science & Engineering Library; you will be asked to show ID as the models are listed under your name and UNI.
We reserve the right to show a photo and description of your printed model on our website. We will not identify users of the service — unless you really want us to!
We exclusively employ PLA (polylactic acid) filament; we do not currently print in ABS or any other materials.
Model submissions should be in .STL format, but we can work with you if you have questions about how to convert from other formats.
Our service is not currently set up to allow for individual use of 3D printers; if you’d like to explore a more hands-on approach to 3D printing, we recommend getting in touch with the good folks at the Columbia Makerspace. Only designated library staff have hands-on access to our 3D printers.
We reserve the right to change these policies at any time.
Now that you’ve read our policies, click here to get started with 3D modeling!