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3D Printing

This LibGuide lists resources to help you get started with 3D Printing at HSLIC.

Reserve a time for a 3D printing orientation

You must reserve a time for a 3D Printing orientation with HSLIC staff before using the printer. 3D Printing orientations are scheduled for groups and individuals as staff are available.

Reserve the 3D printer

After you have completed an orientation, 3D printing is available all hours the library is open to HSC badge holders. However, please take care to reserve your time on the printer as a courtesy to others who might want to use the printer at that time.

Basic Information About 3D Printing at HSLIC

  • HSLIC staff are here to assist you as you print your 3D file. Prior to using the 3D printer, please familiarize yourself with the instructions on this LibGuide and allow enough time for the learning curve.
  • Due to network security concerns, the 3D printer is not networked. Therefore, you can print your file by copying it to an unencrypted flash drive which will then be directly inserted into the 3D printer. Alternatively, if you save your print file to a cloud space, you can download it on the dedicated workstation wired to the 3D printer. Ask the Library Front Desk for the 3D Printer's IP address in order to add it to Cura.
  • Please slice your print file only with the Cura application. This is the preferred application for the Ultimaker S5 and other slicing applications may not successfully format the file for printing on our 3D printer. You can download the free Cura software from Ultimaker's website.
  • After selecting the filament type, do not change any other settings on the printer touchscreen. Only use the touchscreen for selecting your file and clicking "print." For any problems encountered in that process, please immediately cancel/abort the print job and email with a detailed description of the issue.

Specifications and File Requirements

HSLIC's 3D Printer, the Ultimaker S5, has the following specifications:

  • Build Volume: 330 x 240 x 300 mm (13 x 9.4 x 11.8 inch)
  • Layer Resolution: Down to 20 micron (0.001 inch)
  • Compatible filaments (extruders are set to a 0.4mm nozzle): PLA (basic plastic), Tough PLA (stronger plastic), Nylon, ABS (high strength plastic), CPE, CPE+, PC, TPU 95A, PP, and PVA
  • HSLIC currently has the following 2.85mm filaments available: Black (Ultimaker NFC PLA), White (Ultimaker NFC PLA), Translucent Red (PLA), Translucent (PVA Natural), Teal (PolyTerra PLA), Blue (PolyTerra PLA), Green (PolyTerra PLA), Red (PolyTerra PLA), Earthy Rainbow (Generic PLA), ABS Black and White (Ultimaker), ABS Color Change Purple Pink (Gizmodorks), Breakaway White (Ultimaker), Tough PLA Black (Ultimaker), Nylon Black (Ultimaker), Nylon Transparent (Ultimaker)

Print File Requirements and Recommendations:

  • The print file must be sliced or the file will not display when the flash drive is opened in the Ultimaker S5 interface.
  • Cura is the recommended application for slicing. Download the free Cura software from Ultimaker's website.
  • STL is the recommended file type for 3D printing on the Ultimaker S5.


Instructions and Steps

The manufacturer of the Ultimaker S5 has provided a more comprehensive version of these instructions, including screenshots. If you are printing from the public computing workstation in HSLIC dedicated to the 3D Printer, you can ignore the below steps for USB flash drives.

  1. Reserve a time for the 3D Printer.
  2. Obtain a USB flash drive with plenty of available memory. The printer will not be able to read an encrypted flash drive. If you do not have an unencrypted flash drive, the HSLIC Front Desk can provide you with one.
  3. Use the Cura application to slice and export your print file as a STL file. Download the free Cura software from Ultimaker's website.
    • Check that "Ultimaker PLA" is selected at the top center menu in the app instead of generic.
    • Recommended Custom Settings:
      • 15% infill
      • Keep the Z-Hop turned on
      • Use Extruder 2 for supports
      • Choose "skirt" for the bed adhesion
    • For "Rotation" we recommend choosing "lay flat" and then choosing "snap to bed"
    • If you have a complicated model, especially those with spheres such as a molecule model, we recommend increasing the horizontal support and activating adhesion (using "brim" instead of "skirt")
  4. Ensure that the STL file is saved to the USB flash drive. 
  5. Insert the flash drive directly into the Ultimaker S5 printer.
  6. Use the Ultimaker S5 printer touchscreen to select your file and then click "Print." If there is an error, stop and consult HSLIC staff.
  7. Please wait at least 10 minutes, to make sure that the first 10 layers print successfully. If the model starts to clump or wobble, please cancel the print by clicking "Abort" on the touchscreen. After 10 minutes, you may leave the library while your file is printing, but please return before its completion time.
  8. When your print completes, please wait a few minutes to allow for cooling before attempting to remove it from the glass.
  9. Please complete the following clean up procedures:
    • Lightly brush the scraper across the plate to dislodge any remaining bits of filament
    • Wipe down the glass with the isopropyl alcohol wipe
    • Remove any extra filament from the bottom of the printer

3D Printing Restrictions

Use of HSLIC's 3D Printer is subject to the following guidelines:

  1. Printed models should be for educational or research use.
  2. Printed models cannot be prohibited by local, state, or federal law.
  3. Printed models (or their possession on campus) cannot violate any UNM Policy.
  4. Prohibited items include:
    A. Weapons or other dangerous items (see UAP 2210: Campus Violence)
    B. Items inappropriate or damaging for public display (see UAP 2240: Respectful Campus)
    C. Materials subject to copyright, patent, or trademark protection.
  5. Upon request, users must tell HSLIC staff what they intend to print.

HSLIC reserves the right to cancel any print job found to be in violation of these guidelines.

Need Help? Contact Us!

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Feel free to make a copy or re-use this page as long as you credit UNM HSLIC.

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This guide was created by a Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center staff member and is licensed by the Health Science Library and Informatics Center of the University of New Mexico under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.