3D Design Studio
The 3D Design Studio provides free 3D printing, workshops, and 3D design & printer consultation for all library patrons. Whether you’re a total beginner working on an academic pursuit or a 3D pro looking to prototype and iterate, we are happy to help you bring your ideas to life. Our service is open to all patrons of the University Libraries, regardless of skill level or field of study. We make 3D printing work for you.
3D Design Studio will be operating fully remotely for Spring 2021. We will only accept print submissions from patrons who follow the steps listed below. If you plan to use Studios Network services during the Spring 2021 semester, please review the policies listed below before coming to the library. The last day to submit prints for the Spring 2021 semester is May 5. If you need to use our services after that date, please send an email to 3DStudio@vt.edu.
Patrons can make requests for prints through submission of a survey here. At this time we are accepting models for course work or research only. Preferred object file formats are .stl and .obj. Patrons will be emailed when their object is completed and available for pick-up. Items may be retrieved from the pick-up location next to the door of the 3D Design Studio between 9am and 6pm Monday through Friday. With this information in mind, here are the steps to getting your objects printed:
- We will not accept any files attached to an email. Please upload a file to the remote submissions survey in one of the following formats:
- The student worker in the lab with open your design in Simplify3D and inspect it to ensure that your design prints successfully.
- Once the student worker is satisfied that the design is ready for printing they will upload the design to our system. At this time we will enter the information provided by you in the survey, including your email to be used for notification when the print is complete.
- Once the print is complete, you will receive an email letting you know that your print is ready to be picked up. Your print will be available on a table located outside the door to the Studio.
- Free Printing! Class and academic projects will observe unlimited printing. Personal projects may incur restrictions-contact us for details.
- Staff operates all machines and equipment. For your own safety, the door to the Studio will remain closed. Please do not ask our staff to let you into the Studio.
- Prints should be under 500 grams in material volume. Prints over 500 grams will need to be scaled down or broken into parts. If your print has to be 500 grams or larger, you must request permission from the manager.
- Please allow 1-2 weeks lead time for completing your print. The Studio strives to accommodate all patrons of the University, which may lead to delays. We provide an estimate of how long it might take to print your model but that estimate is subject to change.
- Color requests are not guaranteed. If you have a color preference for your finished print, please indicate your preference to us when you submit a file. We cannot guarantee that your print will be the color you prefer.
- One print at a time. You can submit combined models in one file in at a time, as long as the combined objects fit within the constraints of our print beds.
- No Weapons! The Studio will not print anything that can function as a weapon.
- No email submissions. We will not accept files over email. During the Fall 2020 semester, we will not accept submissions in person. Please use the remote submissions survey to submit your files.
- Academic prints receive priority . We are accepting submissions for academic and personal projects, but academic projects take priority in the printing queue.
3D printing can be intimidating, so here are some resources that represent a wide range of helpful software to 3D printers of all skill levels.
Introductions to 3D printing:
- 3D Printing for Beginners – General 3D printing information
- SHAPEWAYS – Tutorials for 3D modeling in different software, creating models to be printed, and modeling basics.
- Lynda (Virginia Tech access) – Online tutorials available for a variety of software and modeling. Access is free for VT faculty, staff, and students.
- Autodesk – Online YouTube tutorials made by the company. More video tutorials can be found by viewing Autodesk Education’s other YouTube videos.
- Tinkercad by Autodesk – A free web-based 3D digital modeling tool that allows you to create shapes and models. It also allows you to import vector shapes and extrude them into 3D models.
- Sketchup Make – A free 3D modeling software that you easily extrude custom shapes and designs.
3D model repositories:
3D scanning services will be available on a case to case basis, continuing to use our booking website. Expect to drop off a scannable item to be retrieved at a later date after scanning is complete. Scanning pertaining to human subjects will not be available during the Spring 2021 semester.
Please read, as failure to follow these terms could mean forfeiture of your access to the University Libraries Studios Network.
All patrons in the library will be required to wear a face covering of some sort at all times while in the building (those users who cannot wear a cloth mask for health reasons will need to wear a face shield). Removing your face covering can be grounds for forfeiture of services provided to you and you will be asked to leave the building. In order to protect public health, the University Libraries reserves the right to shut down the building in the case that compliance with the mask mandate is not being met by patrons.
Patrons need to vacate the bookable Studios promptly at the end of their booking, even if no one is waiting to use the space. A buffer is built into the system to help avoid close contact between patrons and allow for the student worker to clean the Studio before their booking starts.
Patrons may not move furniture. All furniture is placed in such a way to ensure safety protocols from the state and the University are followed. All seats, tables, and power towers are linked in our booking system and must not be moved.
The bookable spaces (Media Design Studio B, Virtual Environments Studio, and lecture capture services in the Data Viz Studio) are only available by appointment. Walk-ins will not be accepted. Please note that these spaces have limited room capacities as well and groups larger than 1-2 people will not be admitted.
Patrons must follow all directives from library staff, including orders to leave the building in the situation in which the library needs to close early.
In the event that one or multiple of these terms are broken, any or all of the following actions can be taken:
- Patron receives a warning from library staff
- Patron’s booking is forfeited
- Patron is asked to leave the building
- Patron’s access to the booking system is revoked
- A Student Code of Conduct violation is filed with the Office of Student Affairs
Monday - Friday: 10am - 6pm
The Studio will be closed on these dates due to Spring Break: February 5, February 25, March 17, April 6, and April 26
The Studios Network offers many free workshops on various technologies, including 3D modeling and printing. See our list of upcoming workshops for information on how to register.
Email 3DStudio@vt.edu or stop by Newman Library, Room 2010
We offer consultations on topics like 3D design, printing, scanning, and more. Visit our consultations page to see what topics we cover and request a time to speak with someone.
The Studios Network has a rolling hiring process. If you are interested in working in one or more of the studios, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.