FAQ for Maker Commons 3D Printing
Is the 3D printing service free to Penn State students and faculty?
Yes. In the 3DPrinterOS Cloud Slicing system there will be reference to 3D printing credits represented as “Balance: $25.00,” for example. While this is represented using US dollars, we are not charging the user. The 25 credit amount applies to when the user first logs into 3D Printer OS and will not be automatically restored each semester, but more credits can be requested. More info on the new credits system and requesting credits in another answer.
Do we submit our print requests online?
Yes, through the 3DPrinterOS Cloud Slicing software. See the tutorial on how to prepare and submit your 3D model for more information.
What happened to the 3D Printing Request Form, 3D Printing Checkup Tool, and multiple login pages?
All gone in favor of the simplified 3DPrinterOS Cloud Slicing software workflow. In addition, 3DPrinterOS uses Penn State’s Single Sign On (SSO) system so there is no need to create and maintain a separate account with 3DPrinterOS. Just log in using your normal Penn State credentials.
Do we print in PLA? What about color choices?
The Dremel 3D45 3D printers can print with a variety of different types of filament, but we are still standardizing on the PLA format. The Dremel 3D45 3D printers have a limited variety of colors and so we are not currently offering color choices. This may change at a later date.
What is the credit system? Does printing cost money?
A requirement of the 3DPrinterOS Cloud Slicing software is the use of “3D printing credits” (represented as US dollars $ in the software). These credits govern how big of a print or how many prints an individual user can create. Each user will start with 25 credits per semester, roughly equal to 250 grams of filament. Credits can be spent however the user wants, ranging from submitting several smaller prints that add up to 250 grams, or one large request that is 250 grams on its own. As long as the request stays within the parameters articulated in the Guidelines and Best Practices and its content adheres to the University 3D Printing Policy, it can be printed – no more 30 gram limit like in the old system.
Additional credits can be requested and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Reasons that an additional credit request may be declined could include class assignment demand for printing, particularly during the second half of the semester. Class assignments registered with Maker Commons will receive special consideration regarding 3D printing credits depending on the parameters of the assignment as articulated by the instructor.
Why am I receiving email about my print request from Michael at 3DPrinterOS?
This is a temporary automated email system until the Maker Commons’ customized email system is implemented. Please do not reply to emails from Michael at 3DPrinterOS – instead email us at email@example.com.
When can I pick up my 3D print?
Unfortunately, the automated email system of the 3DPrinterOS Cloud Slicing software will notify you via email as soon as your print has been completed. This does not account for or align with Maker Commons’ harvesting schedule. It may take up to 24 hours after you receive the “Successful Print!” email for your print to be ready for pick up at the Commons Services Desk. Commonwealth campus students will still receive their print at their local Penn State library within 5 days of receiving the “Successful Print!” email. Please see the University Park tutorial or the Commonwealth campuses tutorial for more information regarding picking up your print.
These supports are pretty hard to remove from my finished print. What can I do?
It does seem that the supports are more difficult to remove than on the previous system. The supports may require the use of tools to completely remove. Please see our tutorial on using tools to remove supports, view the support removal options available at the Invention Studio, or schedule an appointment with us to come in and work on finishing your print.
I have other questions about my project or 3D printing in general?
We’re happy to chat with you! Please email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.