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3D Printers

The 3D Printers in the RPL are a fused-deposition modeling (FDM) machine that extrudes PLA plastic to build up objects layer-by-layer to produce three dimensional parts. It is meant for quickly prototyping parts, often where aesthetics and manufacturing speed is more important than exact dimensional accuracy. The maximum build volume of the Prusa Mini is 7″ x 7″ x 7″ (w-d-h); the maximum build volume of the Lulzbot Taz Workhorse is 11.02″ x 11.02″ x 11.22″ although it is strongly suggested that parts should not take up the entire build volume. Layer resolution is set by the user and can drastically affect print time and build quality. The fastest, coarsest setting is 0.4 mm (0.016″) while the slowest, most detailed setting that we run in the RPL is 0.2 mm (0.008″). Large parts are prone to shrinkage and warping due to unequal cooling throughout the part; due to this, large parts are often best-suited for other machines such as those in the Addlab.


  • Students must complete a 3D Printing permit form before printing in the RPL. The information is used to assess demand of the machines and improve printing success.
  • These machines are for use by MEAM students only or students taking an appropriate course (MEAM 101, 201, 410/510 or IPD 501).
  • All files must follow the naming convention PennKey_Course#_filename.STL (ex. BenFra_101_Top.STL)
    • Any jobs that do not follow the naming convention or the above rules will be canceled.
  •  Prints on these machines are limited to SIX HOURS. (For longer prints, please see staff for alternatives.)
  • Printing may only occur during staffed hours.
  • Students must submit their STL file and desired print settings to RPL staff and come to the RPL itself before a print is started or added to the queue. You may submit the STL file by email to or in person by bringing a portable memory device such as SD card or USB stick.


In order to address demand on the printers, students are required to complete a permit in order to print in the RPL. Once complete student may proceed to the RPL to print their parts. This form does not guarantee printing times but is used to adjust and suggest open time slots.

Request or Concerns

If you have any ideas or a project that reaches beyond the capability of these machines, just ask! If you have any requests or concerns about RPL, please email us at