VCU Libraries

Research Guides

Use the 3D printers

Innovative Media staff

Eric Johnson's picture
Eric Johnson
Cabell Library, Lower Level Room 078

901 Park Ave., Box 842033
Richmond, VA 23284-2033

(804) 828-2802

Innovative Media staff

Ken Hopson's picture
Ken Hopson
James Branch Cabell Library
901 Park Ave
Richmond, VA 23284



  View schedule of orientation sessions

Participation in an Innovative Media 3D printer orientation session offered by an Innovative Media staff member is required before using the 3D printer independently. Please contact The Workshop for information about orientation to the Raise N2+. It will be added to our regular orientation schedule shortly.

No need for a reservation, just come in during the orientation session on which you're interested in receiving training. To schedule an individual training session (only if the scheduled times don't work for you) or for information on training an entire class, contact the Innovative Media department for an appointment by emailing

Scheduling and Starting Print Jobs


  View reservation calendar for 3D printers

Only after you have met with us for training (group orientation or individual training) and feel confident enough to use the 3D printers independently, will we add you to an authorized user list. As an authorized user, you may use the 3D printer independently. However, please do not hesitate to ask questions and seek further assistance from IM staff at any time.

Only authorized (trained) users may schedule printer time on the reservation system. You must be trained on a particular machine before you can reserve that machine. Once you are an authorized user, you can sign up for time on an available printer by reserving the 3D printer on our reservations calendar. Be sure to sign it out for the full length of time it will take to print your object, plus add a little bit of time in case of any snags.

We encourage you to consult with an Innovative Media staff member for assistance with your first 3D print. The purpose of this initial printing meeting is to give you an opportunity to review procedures, ask questions, perform the calibration, and become comfortable operating the 3D printer.

3D print jobs can take several hours, so plan ahead for lengthy print times when booking time on a printer. It may be possible to leave your print job running overnight, but you will have to start at least an hour before closing and you will need to make sure the print has begun successfully before you may leave it to run overnight. Please check with staff to make sure your job can be left overnight.

If your print job must be stopped during its print due to the start of another patron's booked time on the printer, the item will have to be reprinted from the beginning, and you may have to go to the back of the queue if others have booked time on the printer in the next day or days. So again, please plan ahead and book sufficient time on the printer.



VCU Libraries’ 3D printing systems are available for use by all current Virginia Commonwealth University faculty, students, and staff.


Responsibilities of Authorized Users

Authorized users are to follow all operating and safety training. As thoughtful members of the growing 3D printing community, our users are expected to be considerate of others and maintain a safe and clean working environment around the 3D printers. Accurate logging of print jobs should be recorded in the Innovative Media 3D Printer logbook. See logbook form for required data logging. Several data fields, such as anticipated material mass and estimated print time, are available within the 3D printer software, as you’ll be shown during training.  



At this time, 3D printing is being supported entirely by VCU Libraries and is free to you for the 2017-2018 school year. Enjoy!  We just ask that you please help spread the word.

What Can and Cannot be 3D-Printed

Users may 3D print any object for research, education, or personal use so long as the printed objects do not violate VCU campus policies (including prohibition on weapons) and comply with U.S. copyright, patent, and other intellectual policy regulations, which do include specific exceptions for fair use. The printers are intended for educational and experimentation purposes. They may not be used to produce an item or items for sale, or for any other commercial purpose or private financial gain. Nor may be they be used for production-level printing (e.g. many copies of the same thing) without permission. VCU Libraries staff reserves the right to refuse any 3D print request.