11 Replies Latest reply on Aug 31, 2016 1:48 PM by Rachel Deaton

    Support for 3D printers?

    David Jewett Wayfarer

      We're currently working on specs for a new fabrication lab, and the question of costing for 3D printers came up.  We're planning to have at least one 3D printer available for student use, but Uniprint does not currently offer costing options for those.  Does anyone else provide 3D printers for student use, and if so how are you handling print charges?  IMO it would be great if Uniprint added support for such devices.

        • Re: Support for 3D printers?
          brad Pioneer

          Yeah - that's an interesting question actually, David! Well done on getting a 3D printer (or two) for your students... am sure they'll make great use of that!


          However, from a costing perspective, I can see that there could be problems trying to implement something for that from Pharos' perspective, because there are a few different types of 3D printers, which all use different methods of "printing" - and of course, the more variables involved, the more complicated it is to implement/support it within a system. Certainly not saying it can't be done - but I imagine it would be quite tricky/time-costly to do, and there's likely not *that* many places around wanting to offer them in a charging environment??


          Having said all that - we currently have a 3D printer available for use in one of our libraries which is available for local businesses and uni graduates to use for developing their projects on - and it's billed via a separate 3rd party system which came with the printer. Being able to implement that into our current print release system would, of course, be an excellent addition

          • Re: Support for 3D printers?
            Scott Olswold Guide



            Me too


            One of the challenges in 3D print management is that most are application-based, bypassing the Spooler entirely (I'd really like to see an XPS-based 3D driver...ha!). And do you charge by weight? volume? time? What would be helpful, from a Pharos standpoint (short term) is some type of form in either Pharos Admin/Remote Admin that allowed for a debit to either an internal account or billing system integration and a "memo" field so that the user would know what the charge was taken against (because it so cool to have a polymer nut and bolt that you produced, but forget that you had to pay for it).



              • Re: Support for 3D printers?
                Jason Pelletier Tracker

                I like that idea of a form or some front-end (Pharos has web components already) where a user could authenticate against, enter job information for printers that might not be standard (Wide Format, 3D, etc) and then get debited appropriately just like they would at a release station. Sure its on the honor system but at least it could be more in their face. I imagine it wouldn't be too complicated to write something since a some of the stored procedures and executables that can handle this already exist...perhaps I have my next summer project!

              • Re: Support for 3D printers?
                Chris Axtell Navigator

                Looks like Autodesk trying to get an open-source 3D printing platform standard in the works.  Marketing release available at Spark – Open Software Platform for 3D Printing.




                  • Re: Support for 3D printers?
                    Eric Pergola Wayfarer

                    We have successfully implemented 3D printing for all students and faculty who wish to use it. We are utilizing the pharos printing system for this
                    and although it is not seamless it does work for our current needs.  Since we have staff approving the designs before printing we are able to charge according to the final print.  Students drop off design plans and get an estimate of cost.  We approve it and then print it.  Once printed we have a set printer in Pharos that will charge $1.00 per page and an initial cost of $1.00.  The initial page is a receipt page with a picture of the original plans.  This is delivered to the student when print is picked up.  We
                    also print out blank pages art $1.00 per page to get the charge put on the student account for payment.  The blank pages are put back in the printer and reused for future prints.  We are using an old Black and White printer for this function.


                    Two color printing is now available at the 3D Print Lab. Students and faculty can choose from a variety of colors while turning 2D images into 3D.



                    $2 per print – up to 30 minutes

                    $4 per print – 31 to 60 minutes

                    $6 per print – 1 hour to 3 hours

                    $8 per print – 3 hours to 6 hours

                    $11 per print – 6 hours to 8 hours

                    $13 per print – 8 hours to 10 hours


                    All artwork must be approved by Staff and will be supervised while printing.


                    Eric J. Pergola

                    Technology and Systems Manager

                    University of South Florida

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                  • Re: Support for 3D printers?
                    Rachel Deaton Navigator

                    I wanted to offer up some information about our latest version of Uniprint - Uniprint 9.0 R2 SP4. This has a tentative release date for mid October of 2016. This version will offer a few new features including:

                    • Custom charges:
                      • You can now charge students custom amounts for unique items. For example, a Lab Admin can charge students for items such as 3D printing, binding, lamination, etc., and recover costs from Pharos internal accounts, external accounts, or other billing systems.


                    Please reach out to your Pharos Sales Rep for more information or if you're interested in becoming a beta tester.

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