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The CrAFT Studio at UNC Asheville: Frequently Asked Questions

Now open on Ramsey Library's Lower Level, the CrAFT Studio is a multi-use creativity studio at the intersection of technology, creativity, and scholarship.

Frequently Asked Questions

3D Printing Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to print on the 3D printers?
The formula we use to calculate print costs is:
$2.50 per file + (volume of filament used x cost per unit) + ((time of print rounded to the nearest quarter hour - 1) x $2.00)
Each 3D print incurs a base cost of $2.50 per file for processing and quality control. We also charge per volume of filament used on a sliding scale based on filament type. (The pricing chart is available on the main 3D Printing Information website.) For every hour the printer runs past the first hour, we charge $2.00 per hour.

How do you determine printing time and volume?
The slicing and rendering software we use gives us a time and volume estimate when files are loaded on. Based on testing conducted during our first year in operation, we add on an extra 15 minutes for preparation, support structures, and finishing. We use Cura (specifically Lulzbot's custom mod of Cura) as slicing software for both the PrintrBot Simple and TAZ 6, and we use PreForm for our Form 2.

How can I pay for printing?
You will receive a e-mail upon receipt of your file from the CrAFT Studio with a job number and a price. To pay with cash, check, or credit/debit card, the charge is applied to your library student account. Payments are accepted at the Circulation Desk on the main level of the library. Payment must be received before print jobs will be processed, and any jobs left unpaid for seven (7) days will be deleted from the queue.

Can departments pay for printing?
Yes; academic departments will receive a similar invoice to an individual's job, and this includes paying for student prints for classes and organizations. Arrangements must be made in advance; contact Amanda Glenn-Bradley for additional details. Payment is expected in a timely fashion.

How long does it take to print?
Please allow at minimum three (3) business days for your print job to process. During high volume times (e.g. Undergraduate Research Symposium or NCUR) and during intersession and summer terms, please allow at minimum five (5) business days for your print job to process.

What file type do I need to send in?
We prefer that you submit either an STL or an OBJ file for printing.

How large (in megabites) can my file be?
The maximum size the submission form can handle is 25 MB. If your file exceeds this size, please e-mail the CrAFT Studio with your name, the dimensions of the file in millimeters (X axis by Y axis by Z axis), and the date you need it in the body of the e-mail, and the file attached as either an STL or OBJ to the e-mail.

What dimensions/time can each printer handle?
The maximum print size of each printer is as follows:

  • Lulzbot TAZ 6: 280 mm x 280 mm x 250 mm (11 inches x 11 inches x 9 inches)
  • Printrbot Simple Metal: 150 mm x 150 mm x150 mm (5.9 inches x 5.9 inches x 5.9 inches)
  • FormLabs Form 2 SLA: 145 mm × 145 mm × 175 mm (5.7 inches × 5.7 inches × 6.9 inches)

For safety reasons, we will not print items that exceed the time the studio is open each day, or approximately 8 hours.

What can I print?
You are welcome to print items that you create in the CrAFT Studio, items downloaded from places like Thingiverse or Yeggi, class projects, personal projects, and much more. You cannot print material that contains copywritten images or the work of another artist without their express permission. We reserve the right to reject any print job that contains copywritten material or uses an artist's renderings without their express permission.

I've never made an item to 3D print! Where do I start?
That's a great question! We have iPad minis and iPad Pro tablets for use in the CrAFT Studio pre-loaded with modeling software and friendly student staff that will walk you through the design process. We also have a list of software (available often times for free!) we recommend that folks get started with.

What program should I use to create my model?
You can use a wide variety of programs to create your poster! Our crew in the CrAFT Studio has experience using the following programs:

  • Meshmixer
  • TinkerCAD
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Autodesk Fusion 360 **available for students and educators for free
  • Autodesk Maya **available for students and educators for free
  • Autodesk 3DS **available for students and educators for free
  • Autodesk 123D Design ***Autodesk discontinued support and new downloads of their 123D series of products, but our iPads still have the program available

How can I ensure the best print quality?
Each model is quality tested layer-by-layer by our CrAFT Studio student technicians prior to providing print estimates, and you will be contacted if any issue arises during that process. There are fantastic resources out on the internet that give great tips and tricks for ensuring the best model you can possibly develop. Here's a selection of resources:

Where do I pick up finished print jobs?
After your job has printed, you will receive an e-mail, letting you know your poster is available for pick-up at the Research & Technology (Reference) Desk on the Main Level of the library.