3D printing service policies and procedures

Please read the following procedures and policies carefully. 

You can also download a print copy of the procedures at the end of this page

In-person 3D printing service policies and procedures  

Service eligibility

3D Printing @ Gerstein + MADLab is available to all staff, faculty, and students who hold a valid University of Toronto TCard.   

Users must obtain certification to operate 3D printers by: 

  • Attending a safety and training session in the MADLab
  • Passing a 3D printing knowledge test 
  • Signing safety and liability waivers 

How the service works

  1. Book time on the printer 
  2. Just before booking time, pick up key fob, sign waiver, and pay for time at Gerstein Service Desk 
  3. At booking start, go to MADLab and initiate print 
  4. Remain for the duration of the print job 
  5. Remove printed object before leaving MADLab 
  6. Return fob to Gerstein Service Desk 

Users are required to:

  • Passing a 3D printing knowledge test
  • Attending a safety and training session in the MADLab
  • Signing safety and liability waivers
  • Access the printers only through the approved reservation and key sign-out procedures
  • Be responsible for their own designs and the success of their print jobs
  • Be present in the MADLab at the time of printing and for the duration of the print job
  • Maintain accurate logs of print jobs in the Gerstein MADLab printing log
  • Reimburse the library for any damage to or loss of library equipment or facilities
  • Return the MADLab key fob to the loan desk at the end of the reservation
  • Abide by the University of Toronto Libraries’ rules and regulations regarding the use of the printer
  • Abide by the MADLab's rules and regulations regarding use of the MADLab facilities

Full replacement or repair costs will be charged for lost or damaged equipment.

A $15.00 charge will apply for a lost or non-returned key fob.

Reserving printers

Reservations can be made during the MADLab’s open hours for a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of 4 hours. Reservations need to be made 2 business days in advance up to a maximum of 12 hours total per week.

Users are advised to plan their reservation time based on the expected length of print as estimated by the MakerBot CloudPrint web application (recommended) or other 3D printing software.

Print jobs must not exceed the duration of the reservation. Reservation time should not include time allocated to design. Users should come to their reservation with their design completed and ready to print.

All reservations must be approved by 3D Printing @ Gerstein + MADLab staff to ensure that only certified users reserve time on the printers.

Certified users may reserve time on the 3D printer via the group study room booking software here.

Accessing the MADLab

To access the MADLab, users must bring their reservation confirmation and proof of identification to the loan services desk at the time of the reservation.

The loan services desk provides a key waiver for the user to sign and signs out a key fob to the user for the duration of the reservation.

Users must return the key fob to the loan services desk at the end of their reservation or risk incurring fines.

Pricing and fees

Payment for printing must be made at a cost of $2 + HST per 1 hour of reservation time. Payment must be provided before users gain access to the MADLab. Printing charges apply regardless of the success of the print.

Payments are accepted via credit or debit card only.

Printing policy

Users must sign a waiver agreeing to follow the University of Toronto Libraries’ rules and regulations regarding the use of the printer, and abide by the following:

  • There must be no printing of weapons, obscene materials, and other materials that violate the Library’s Conduct Regulations
  • There must be no infringement of any person’s intellectual property rights, such as copyright when using the printer to create a work
  • Print jobs must not exceed the duration of the reservation
  • Users are responsible for their own designs, and printing charges will apply regardless of the success of the print

Safety regulations

Users must attend a safety and training session in the MADLab and sign safety and liability waivers upon completion of training. The waivers confirm users’ awareness that using the printer may result in risk of personal injury or harm. Users further agree to abide by the following safety training instructions, and all other safety instructions received from Gerstein Library or MADLab personnel:

  • The extrusion print heads are extremely hot during operation (~230 °C) and while cooling down after operation. Never touch the extrusion print heads and always assume the print heads are hot.
  • There are multiple moving parts. Always assume the instrument is under operation before attempting to install or remove any printer component or 3D printed objects. Do not attempt to install or remove components/objects from the instrument until you have verified it is not in use.
  • Tie back any long hair or baggy clothing.
  • Do not attempt to make any mechanical adjustments while the printer is in operation.
  • Additionally, if the instrument locks up or gets “jammed” during the operation, do not attempt to manually move any parts of the instrument.
  • When removing an object from the print board with the scraper tool, always scrape away from the body. Keep hands clear of the scraper for safety.
  • There is a first aid kit available on hand for minor cuts and injuries.

Remote 3D printing service policies and procedures 

Service eligibility

To be eligible to submit a job, you must:  

  • Be a current student, faculty, staff, or affiliate at any U of T campus 
  • Have an active UTORid 
  • Complete the online training modules (requires Quercus access) and pass all three quizzes with a score of 100%. 

When you have met the above criteria and completed the training, you will be added to a list of approved users.

How the service works

  1. Complete online training and receive certification confirmation email
  2. Create design or download one from a 3D model library 
  3. Import file to MakerBot slicing software, make adjustments as needed 
  4. Take screenshot of Print Preview screen before exporting your final .makerbot file 
  5. Open link to Gerstein submission form in certification confirmation email 
  6. Complete checklist, and follow instructions to upload screenshot and print job 
  7. Receive notification email when your job is ready for pickup 
  8. Collect from Gerstein service desk and pay for your printed object 

Submitting your print job

When you successfully complete the training, you will receive an email confirmation with a link to the submission form. 

For a detailed step-by-step on preparing your 3D model for printing, please see the cheat sheet in the Gerstein+MADLab 3DPrinting Quercus shell.  

Please submit the form once for each print job request (max of 2 in a queue at any time). 

The form has a quick "pre-flight" checklist to make sure your print job is ready to go. 

The form automatically collects your name and utoronto.ca email address.  The person who submits the form is the person who will be contacted when the job is ready.  

Use the form to request a particular colour from those currently available for your print job.  

The form will ask you to submit a screenshot of your print job (see example below). The screenshot should show the Print Preview screen from MakerBot Print of the print job you will be submitting. This will give us an idea of what challenges your print job might present during printing. 

A screenshot of the print preview provided by the MakerBot Print software

You will be given a link to MakerBot Cloud to upload your exported .makerbot file. 

Accessing the remote printing service 

Approved users may submit jobs, which are printed on a "first-come, first-served" basis.  

The staff at the MADLab will print job requests from the queue during the work week (M-F, 9-5), depending on staff availability. 

You can only submit two print jobs at a time to the queue. Once your jobs are printed you can submit more. This is to ensure everyone has a chance to get their projects printed. 

Each individual print job must no more than 6 hours to complete. When your design is uploaded, MakerBot Print can calculate the estimated print time when you click on “preview”. It is usually accurate to within 15min. 

If you have a deadline for your print job, please submit it well in advance. We cannot modify the order of the print queue nor guarantee staff availability. 

Picking up your objects 

When your object is ready, you will receive an email notification to pick it up at the Gerstein Service Desk.  

Please pick up your object within 7 days. We may discard abandoned objects after 7 days. 

Your design might not look exactly how you expect when you pick it up. It may require some clean up. For instance, if your design required rafts or supports, please note that these will need to be removed by you, following instructions provided in the training modules. 

Please note that service desk staff are not responsible for the quality of your job. Please direct any questions or concerns about your printed object to gerstein.3dprinting@utoronto.ca

Pricing and fees 

You will be charged for the length of time it takes to print your object. The cost is $0.05 per minute ($3.00 per hour), to the nearest minute.

See Failed Jobs below for details on costs for failed jobs.

Outstanding amounts not paid for within 7 days will be added to your library account, which may result in restricted access to library services. 

Failed jobs 

We want your jobs to succeed and will support you along the way however we can. However, it is possible that your print job may fail. This is part of the joy of prototyping and experimentation.  

The first time it fails you will not be charged for the attempt. We recommend you modify the design before submitting again. Printing charges will apply regardless of the success of the print after the first failed attempt. 

Please contact gerstein.3dprinting@utoronto.ca with any questions or concerns about your print job. We are always happy to try to help you out!

Printing policy 

Users must abide by the following conditions or their jobs will be cancelled: 

  • There must be no printing of weapons, obscene materials, and other materials that violate the Library’s Conduct Regulations
  • There must be no infringement of any person’s intellectual property rights, such as copyright when using the printer to create a work. 
  • Users are responsible for their own designs, and printing charges will apply regardless of the success of the print after the first failed attempt.  
  • Outstanding amounts not paid for within 7 days will be added to your library account, which may result in restricted access to library services.