3D Printing

About 3D Printing in CAT

CAT is currently preparing to launch a new service to the Butler community: on-demand 3D printing. This service operates on a fee-based model similar to 2D printing at Campus Impressions.

3D Printing Policies and Procedures

Who can print?

Current Butler University faculty, staff, and students.

May I use the 3D printer to create personal prints?

The 3D printer may be used for Butler related academic purposes; personal or extracurricular purposes require prior approval from the Center for Academic Technology. You may not operate a for-profit business using the printer or be paid for print jobs made on the printer.

Terms of Use and Copyright

Only use material provided by CAT.

The cost per print job is $3 for the first hour of printing and $1 for each additional hour of printing. An initial quote will be calculated based on the estimated print time; payment will be calculated from the actual print time. Payment will be collected at the time of pickup. If the print is not successful, one reprint will be allowed with no additional cost. Those who fail to pay or pick up print jobs may have future printing privileges revoked.

Weapons, counterfeit items, keys, and other similar items that would fall under unlawful reasons for printing are not allowed to be printed using the CAT 3D printer. Legal and creative rights must be obtained before printing. For more information on copyright, please view Butler’s Copyright Policies or the Library’s Copyright Libguide. Files considered offensive or dangerous should not be submitted. CAT has full rights to deny any submitted print requests.

Prints vary on length of time and staff cannot guarantee a specific time and date when the print will be complete. Printing services are first come, first served, with the exception that CAT employees reserve the right to change the order of the print queue for more efficient and effective print jobs. Because of staffing levels, prints will be processed at regularly scheduled times each week, not on demand.

Prints can take several hours to complete and cannot be rushed. Currently there is only one printer operating so one print job will occupy the space at a time. Should regular print jobs be delayed due to equipment failure or maintenance, CAT will inform those with queued print jobs.

There will be an estimated time of completion and an email will be sent when the print is ready to be picked up from the Center of Academic Technology on the third floor of Irwin Library. All prints must be picked up within 10 business days after printing is complete. There is no guarantee prints will be held onto after those 10 days. Email cat@butler.edu to schedule a pickup time.


Depending on the site on which the cast/scan/print was created from, there are different policies on what is allowed and what isn’t. For example, the Smithsonian has a website where there are several scans of artifacts that come with prints available for download. However, these are for educational purposes only and not for sale

If you complete the scan yourself on an artifact/object at Butler, you would still have to reach out to the original artist/owner of the object for permission to scan and print. If it came from a specific library, institution, museum, university, etc., you would still need permission. Again, this is more for educational purposes and not for sale


The quality of the print is determined by the size and complexity of the print design. The more detailed a design is, the less likely it is to come out with a high quality. Simplicity is key when aiming for a higher quality print. However, with correct placement of different supports, more complex designs are more likely to come out at a higher quality.

Butler University’s Center of Academic Technology is not responsible for any failed prints or unsuccessful print jobs. Although the department will work as hard as possible to ensure success, it is not guaranteed. Staff will review files to check for quality and stability of the design. If the print is not successful, one reprint will be allowed with no additional cost. The design will have to be reevaluated and altered for the reprint to take place.

See this catalogue of previous prints to see the print quality.


CAT has a Flashforge Adventurer 3 3D printer.

Models must be within the device’s printing capabilities (150mm x 150mm x 150mm). All 3D prints must be a .g/.gx file in FlashPrint. If you have a .STL file, it must be spliced to the .g/.gx file to print. Other softwares may be used, but the file must be in that “g” code to print.

For intricate designs, supports may be required to preserve details of the model. If your model has any sharp angles (90 degrees) or extrusions that are held midair, supports create a balance so the model doesn’t fall apart or fall over mid-print. The designs also most require a single extruder.

Additionally, there are only two types of filament used for printing: PLA and ABS.


Please contact the Center for Academic Technology (CAT) at cat@butler.edu or 317-940-8575 for more information.