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3D Printing Service: Preparing Your 3D File

Get started with 3D printing

Finding a Model

You can search for pre-existing models to print as they are or modify using 3D modeling software, or create your own from scratch.

Online Repositories


Useful Ready-to-Print 3D Models

  • 3D Cricothyroidtomy Trainer - A free to print cricothyroidotmy trainer model created by The Airway App.

  • oDocs Fundus - A fundus adaptor for smartphones that can be printed and assembled.

  • Base Former - Dental baser former for pouring of casts after impression taking.

Creating a Model

You can also design your own object in any 3D modeling software. The Library does not currently provide access to 3D modeling software, but there are many free software programs available.‚Äč

  • Tinkercad - Browser-based 3D design platform, great for beginners. Free with an Autodesk account.
  • Blender - Powerful open source 3D animation/modeling software. Powerful but has a steep learning curve.
  • OpenSCAD - Free software for creating solid 3D CAD models. Builds parts using code.
  • Sketchup - Great for architectural modeling. Comes in free or pro versions. Using STL files in Sketchup.
  • SculptGL - Browser based sculpting application.

Optimizing Your File

File Format
All files must be submitted as stereolithography (.stl) files.

The standard resolution is .3 mm per layer, with 5% infill. You can specify a different quality level by making a note under "Special Instructions" on the submission form.

Multiple Parts
If your model includes multiple parts, make each as a separate STL file. You will need to submit each file as a separate request.

Make a Solid Design
The surface of your 3D model must be watertight. This means all faces of the object must construct one or more closed volume entities. Gaps or holes in the model will cause it to print incorrectly.
See Rhino's How do I Make a Solid Model

Submit Your File

Submit Your 3D Print

Note: You will be notified via email when your job is completed or if we have any questions. Prints can be picked up in the Briscoe Library by speaking with one of the library staff. Make sure to have your UT badge so we can release your print to you.


Fine Print

3D Printer Policies and Procedures
A full breakdown of our policies and procedures can be found here

Please contact

This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, under Contract No. HHSN-276-2011-00007-C with the Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library.