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3D Printing: Home

This guide will assist patrons who plan to use the 3D printing available in the Engineering and Science Library.

3D Printing Updates

Important Note:

The Siegesmund Engineering Library is permanently closed.

However, we are still 3D printing. If you are interested, please email Aly Edmondson at

Also during this time will be transitioning to new 3D printers, so please make sure you're reading through this LibGuide as changes will be made in regards to the process of submitting files.

On August 7th, 2017 we will reopen in the Wilmeth Active Learning Center (WALC) as the Engineering and Science Library. Our 3D printers will then be a part of a larger maker space within the start of the art Data Visualization Center along with the GIS Suite of the WALC.

Due to the growing demand and need to keep the 3D printing service sustainable, the following printing limits will be imposed.
  • Only .CUBE3 files are able to be printed with our printers. If you have an .STL you will need to convert it to a .CUBE3 file in the Cube Print  App Software.
  • 3D prints will have a limit of 75 grams of material per print.
    • Here are some helpful tips to minimize the size of your prints.
  • Each person is limited to printing a total of 150 grams of material a month.
  • You may only submit ONE file at a time to be printed. If you want to print multiple files, you will need to submit those at a later date. If you want multiple copies of one file, you will need to resubmit at a later date & after we've finished the first copy. This is to keep our queue flowing consistently and fairly.
  • Due to high demands, 3D prints may take as long as a week.
  • If you need to print more than the allotted amount, you can buy your own cartridge of material to use and submit it with your file.
    • Our printers are only compatible with 3D Systems Cube cartridges, which can be purchased through the 3D Systems website.
  • If your file does not meet or conditions, please check out the BoilerMAKER Lab in Knoy. Visit their site here:

How Can I Print?

You will bring in your .CUBE3 file on a USB drive and give it to a library staff member at the Information Desk. (Refer to our Contact section for library hours.)

  • You need to convert your 3D file into the .cube3 format using the Cube Print App Software. The Cube Print App Software will let you know how many grams the design will take to print and how long the print should take.

Find the link to download the Cube Print software at the bottom of the page, once you open the link.

The reference staff will look over the file to see if there are any obvious problems that need to be addressed, and give you an estimated completion time. Please refer to our Helpful Hints section to make sure your design is printer-friendly before you hand over your USB drive.

  • Occasionally, print jobs will fail, so there may be delays in completion, but every effort will be made to meet the anticipated deadline.

You will receive an email when your job is completed, and you can pick it up at your convenience. You need to present your Purdue ID to collect your print job. 

Helpful Hints Before You Print

  • Be sure you have the most updated version of the Cube Print software.
  • Make sure you have used the Cube Print software to convert your file to the .cube3 format.
  • If your object has a small base, particularly if it is rounded, select the 'sidewalk' option in the Cube Print software to help it adhere to the printing surface
  • Two colored printing is discouraged, as it takes about twice as long as one-colored printing, so two-color print jobs will receive lower priority than one-color jobs. If you want to use two colors, consult with a library assistant for suggestions.
  • If your object has large overhangs, select the 'support' option in the Cube Print software. (Take a look at an alternative support material option in the Tutorials tab.)
  • To keep the amount of material down, you can scale down your object in the Cube Print software, and you can use the Draft preset, and/or choose hollow fill. 
  • If you click on the 'i' button, you can see an estimate of how much time your print job will take and how much mass it will take to print.
  • For more questions check out the Frequently Asked Questions.

What is 3D printing?

3D printers allow users to create a physical object from a digital model. This is typically done by laying down many thin layers of material.

3D printing is useful to anyone who requires low-volume custom prototypes. Think about making models for class projects, testing design ideas, creating visual aids, creating components to incorporate into larger-scale models. These ideas can be applied to many fields of study, from engineering to nursing to chemistry to geology. The possibilities are endless, limited only to the size of the printer and your imagination.


To get an even better idea of the possibilities with 3D printing you can also explore a series of 3D model collections in our 3D Model Gallery section on the Software page.

3D Printing Applications

Library Policy on Use of 3D Printers

Individuals who use the library's 3D printers must comply with Purdue University and Libraries policies.

Specifically, the libraries' printers may not be used to create material that is:

  • Prohibited by local, state, or federal law

  • Prohibited by University Policy

  • Unsafe, harmful, dangerous, or poses an immediate threat to the well-being of others

  • Obscene or otherwise inappropriate for the library environment

  • In violation of intellectual property rights.

The library reserves the right to refuse any 3D print/scan request.

Cube 3

The Cube 3 3D Printer.

Contact Info

Siegesmund Engineering Library

is permanently CLOSED.

However, if you're interested in 3D printing, please contact Aly Edmondson at

Have questions?

Aly Edmondson
Siegesmund Engineering Library