3D Printing

So, you want to create a 3D model?

Example models printed in the SILS Computer Lab
3D printed objects

  • First, visit a 3D model website, such as Thingiverse, to select an object to print (or send us your own design in STL format!)
  • Next, either submit a request, or email the SILS IT Help Desk at silshelp@unc.edu to request a 3D Print of your object
    • Attach the STL file and/or link to the object from Thingiverse.com in the email
    • Specify which color you would like your object to be, typical colors available include: blue, white, red, black, glow in the dark
  • Wait for a response from the SILS IT Help Desk of when your model is ready.
  • SILS  print school appropriate models that fit on our printer and can complete within open hours. 
  • Please limit your requests to what will fit on the printer in one print. 

Feel free to stop by the Outer Computer Lab in the SILS Library to watch your model be created!


How does a 3D printer work?

Our 3D printer renders a physical object from a digital model by the process of fused filament fabrication. Plastic filament is fed through a heated nozzle that the computer moves, building layer upon layer from the base of the item upward. At SILS, we use PLA (Polylactic Acid) as our filament.

Who can submit 3D print requests?

3D printing is available to all SILS students (taking at least one SILS class), faculty, and staff. The 3D printer is particularly intended to allow SILS students to explore new emerging technology.

What kind of 3D printer does the SILS Computer Lab have?

We have a MakerGear M2 3D Printer. For specific information about the model, click here.

What are the maximum dimensions in which the 3D printer can print?

MakerGear M2 has a build volume of 8 x 10 x 8 in.

How long does it take to print an item?

Currently we cannot guarantee a completion time or date. Build times depend upon several factors including size, intricacy, and the number of print requests in the queue.  Files will be printed in the order they are received with priority given to academic and research projects with a deadline.