Tips for Designers

3D models can be designed in any number of software programs, including:

Models submitted below must be submitted in .stl format. Most software programs can export 3D models in .stl format, but get in touch if you need help.

Tips on 3D printing

The Libraries recently purchased a MakerBot Replicator 2 as an experiment to engage users in a number of software programs already provided by the Libraries (AutoCAD, 3DS Max, Maya, etc.). If use of the Replicator 2 is high, we hope to expand our offerings in this 3D ecosystem in the future.Before an .stl file can be printed on the MakerBot Replicator 2, it must be converted from .stl into G-code using the free Makerware software.

To properly print, 3D models must be closed forms, meaning that there are no improper openings in the data file. You can check to see if your model is closed at

Looking for other places to print?

GSAPP students can have models fabricated in the Digital Output Shop (3D printing info).
A number of laboratories in SEAS have 3D printing facilities.
Vendors such as Shapeways will print models for a fee.

Submit your design to be printed

Ready to have your model printed? Now you can upload an .stl file, pick a view that best represents the model, and fill out some brief information. Then we’ll print the most up-voted models from time to time!

We will evaluate designs that are submitted to ensure they are printable, appropriate, and will not consume an unreasonable amount of our limited resources.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How much does it cost to print on the Libraries’ 3D printer?

Right now there is no cost to print something in 3D, but we also do not guarantee that everything that is submitted will be printed.

2. I need to have something printed by tomorrow – can you do it?

The Libraries’ 3D printer is not intended to be like one found in a fabrication shop. We encourage you to get in touch early in the design process if you would like to have something printed. Items submitted via the submission interface will likely not be printed immediately following approval for the site.

3. How will you choose what items to print?

Periodically the staff of the Science & Engineering Library will print some of the most up-voted models, so be sure to share your models with your friends so they can vote for them!

Printing will ultimately be at the discretion of the staff in the Science & Engineering Library; items that will be used for research, teaching, classwork, or other stated missions of the University and the Libraries will, however, be favored over items that are for personal use.

4. What are the specs of the MakerBot Replicator 2? How big can it print? What’s the resolution?

All of the specifications for the MakerBot Replicator 2 are listed on the product feature list.

Questions? Comments?

Get in touch via email or online!


  • Zoe October 23, 2015 Reply

    Hi, This is Zoe from Shapetizer. I am sending this email to ask whether Columbia University has 3D printing club. If does, who should I contact? Thank you.

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