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Steven E. Rogers Media Center

Equipment and resources for students, faculty, staff and community members.

Makerbot 3D Filament Printer


                     3D Filament Print of a Pumpkin Patch    3D filament prints of 1 pink pig and 1 white pig          3D Filament print of Big Ben-London         3D filament diarema print of a scene from the jungle of Africa    3D Filament print of a blue rabbit 

What is a 3D Filament Printer?

The MakerBot Replicator Fifth Generation 3D printer uses polylactic acid (PLA) filament.  This filament is a nontoxic resin made of sugar derived from starches found in foods, like potatoes, corn, grain, or even beets. It is also known as additive manufacturing because the physical model is built up one layer at a time. The 3D filament printer uses a process called Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), in which a plastic filament is fed through a heated nozzle which melts the plastic. Computer-controlled motors move the nozzle around to create the shape of a layer, which hardens immediately. The object is built this way, one layer at a time, from the bottom up.


Users may see slight imperfections in their prints. Small bumps or holes and rough edges at the base of an object may occur with 3D printing. You can clean up some of the imperfections with fine sand paper or other tools. The MakerBot Replicator is very accurate, but there may be some instances where objects do not fit precisely together. There are instances where certain prints will require support material and /or rafts to ensure proper printing. Support material is often needed if the design has large overhangs or parts suspended in mid-air. Rafts are often used as support at the base of the model. These types of additions are easily removable by the user. We recommend when creating your print to build it on a raft.

How do I get my file printed?

  • Fill out the 3D Printing Request Form. Forms may be picked up in the Paul Meek Library in the Steven E. Rogers Media Center. If you have any special instructions, please include them in the “Additional Comments” box on the form. 
  • To print bring your file in .STL file to the Media Center on a jump drive. Name your file using the format: first name_lastnamefilename.stl
  • We’ll help you, estimate how much it will cost, and how long it will take to print your model. We'll add your model to our printing queue and will notify you by email when it is ready for pick-up.
  • If your print is time sensitive, please allow adequate time. Most prints will be finished in a few days, but there may be times that the printer is malfunctioning, being repaired, experiencing heavy use, or is being used for an event.

Colors Available

The following colors are available: True Orange, Red, White, Black, Purple, Green, Blue and Yellow,Warm and Cool Grey; neon pink and lime when available from manufacturer.

Cost of 3D printing

The cost to print will be $.15 per gram of filament used in the printing process.  

Creating a 3D Filament Print

To Create a 3D Project:

  • You will need to create a free account at (It’s free)
  • Click on “Explore”-top left hand corner”
  • Click on the “Search Icon”
  • Type in an object or a category
  • Browse “Thingiverse”
  • Choose your object click on it
  • Click on the tab Prepare
  • Your object will come up. It must be a .stl file. Click on Prepare
  • This will bring up the MakerBot grid screen. You object will appear momentarily.
  • Click on “Settings”:
  • Check “Raft” –this is the support base for your object
  1. Check “Support”-this is additional supports that are added to your object as its being built. If your object is lying flat-you can remove the supports.
  2. Smart Extruder + -
  3. Percentage of Fill-10%
  • Click on Preview

This will tell you the time frame for printing your object and how many grams it will be. Objects can take anywhere from 1 hour to 2-3 days to complete.

  • Click on “EXPORT FILE” at the top of the page-right hand corner and save it to your jump drive or email it to
  • Fill out a request to print at the front desk. Please make sure your contact information is up to date in order for us to reach you when your object is completed.