- The University of Alabama Libraries
- Libraries Policies
- 3D Printing Guidelines
- The 3D printing services are available for use by all current University of Alabama faculty, staff, and students.
What May or May Not be 3D Printed
- Users may 3D print any object for research and education with the following exceptions:
- No weapons, weapon accessories, or weapon components;
- No objects that resemble weapons or weapon accessories;
- No illegal objects; and
- No copyrighted objects or any other objects that violate patents and trademarks.
- Items such as the UA Athletics script A, images of Big Al, characters from animated series, etc. may not be printed without written approval of the copyright holder.
- Items licensed under the Creative Commons mechanism may be printed if the use is authorized by the particular license.
- Nothing may be printed for commercial purposes.
- 3D printing in Gorgas costs – Small Prints: $3 dollars (30 grams or less) Medium Prints: $6 dollars (31 – 61) Large Prints: $11 dollars (61 – 120) Very Large Prints: customized pricing (grams X .09)
- 3D printing in Bruno costs $2.00 per print job.
- 3D printing in Rodgers Library costs $15.00 per tray which may have one or multiple parts on it.
- The printers in Rodgers Library are of a higher quality and can handle more complex designs. You may be referred to Rodgers Library or the College of Engineering if your design cannot be adequately printed in the other libraries.
- Fees in Gorgas, Bruno, and Rodgers libraries are collected at the point of print approval.
- Fees are charged per print job, not per object. Rodgers fees are charged based on how many trays your job will take.
- Refunds for failed print jobs will be based upon equipment failure. Refunds will not be given for failed print jobs caused by file errors.
- All payments are via Bama Cash, no cash money or credit/debit cards will be accepted.
- Fees apply to all print jobs and all patrons; there are no education/academic waivers or discounts.
- Departmental transfers can be used, but they must be fully processed prior to printing.
Print Starting Times
- 3D print jobs in Gorgas and Bruno libraries will be managed by staff (not students) and may be started anytime during normal library hours up to one hour prior to closing time for the respective library. Rodgers Library will run jobs Sunday – Thursday during operating hours.
- Participation in a 3D Printer Training and Safety Workshop offered by a Rodgers Library staff member is required prior to use. 3D Printer Training is offered during the spring, summer, and fall semesters, when classes are in session. There is a signup sheet posted at the Rodgers circulation desk with training times.
- 3D printing is suspended whenever the University suspends normal operations.
Length of Processing and Printing Time
- The amount of time it takes to complete a print job varies greatly based on complexity and size of the object(s), current number of print jobs in the queue, and printer availability.
- Print jobs are processed first-in-first-out.
- In Rodgers Library, a print job may take up to 2.5 weeks to be completed; in the other libraries a print job may take a week or more when busy. Please plan accordingly.
- A patron can expect to receive email communication to her/his official UA email account (ua.edu or crimson.edu) from the Libraries at least at the following points in the process:
- Acknowledgement of original email containing the STL file;
- Notification of approval and need to come in to sign and pay; and
- Notification of job completion.
- During times when many print jobs are filling the queues, individual print jobs may be internally referred to other less-busy sites.
- The patron will not need to intervene in this process.
- Completed object(s) will be available at the circulation desk of the library to which the original job was submitted.
- STL file format is accepted at all University Libraries 3D printing locations.
Colors and Quality
- At Gorgas Library objects can be printed in choice of black, blue, green, red, white or grey.
- At Bruno objects will be printed in light tan.
- At Rodgers Library objects will be printed in white ABS plastic only.
- 3D printed objects may have imperfections and may not appear exactly as they do in the screen image of the design.