B-made rents out desktop 3D printers to Bartlett students and also runs a 3D printing service open to the wider UCL community and industry professionals.
On this page:
B-made's 3D printing options
B-made's 3D printing department offers pay-for-print serivces for our advanced machines and also rents out desktop 3D printers to Bartlett students for a nominal fee for continual use throughout the year. Find out more below.
- Desktop 3D printers (for student rental)
Who can rent a desktop 3D printer?
Bartlett students. Students can rent one printer per unit or research cluster to share within their academic group.
How can students rent a machine?
If your unit or research cluster would like to rent a Desktop 3D printer, all students in that unit or cluster must complete the 2019/2020 B-made Induction and nominate two students within their academic group to be 'super users'. These two students will then attend 'super user' training and will act as the responsible persons for the daily care and oversight for their academic group's desktop 3D printer.
Renting step-by-step...Find out all the details about renting a 3D printer on the 'B-made Workshop User's' Moodle page for Inducted Workshop users.
How much does it cost to rent a 3D printer?
B-made collects a £100 refundable deposit for the use of a desktop 3D printer for the academic year. Desposits are refunded upon the satifactory return of a machine. The cost to fix preventable damage caused by misuse or neglect will be taken from the deposit if required.
There is a nominal £50 fee to pay for the consumable parts that must be replaced at the end of each cycle of rental to ensure the machines continue to operate in good working order for each subsequent academic group.
How long is the rental period?
Each academic group can rent a 3D printer for the duration of their programme's academic year.
- material: 2.85mm PLA filament
- build size X Y Z: 223mm x 223 x 205
- file transfer: SD card
- software: Ultimaker Cura
- heated platform significantly reduces warping
- best print quality
- simple maintenance
- slower print time (compared to Makerbot)
- manual platform levelling
- extruder will not detect when filament has run out.
(45 machines available)
Makerbot Replicator +
- material: 1.75 PLA filament
- build size X Y Z: 250mm x 180 x 150
- file transfer: USB
- software: Makerbot Print
- faster print time (approximately 20% faster than Ultimaker)
- extruder pauses print if filament runs out
- platform is not heated, so larger flat parts warp
- lower quality print
(7 machines available)
- 3D printing service (for fee)
3D printing technologies
B-made offers advanced capabilty in 3D printing through its 3D printing services. Unlike other numerical manufacturing equipment in B-made, the machines listed below must be run by B-made technicians so are not available for students to use on their own.
Files from students, UCL researches and staff and other external industry professionals can be submitted to the 3D Printing department between 9:30 AM and 12:30 PM each weekday. The 3D printing team will review the data, advise and quote each job based on the technology used, size and geometry. Prints can be paid for through the B-made Hub by card.
The 3D printing service is available Monday to Friday, from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM.
Please note that the 3D printing team are not available in the afternoons to ensure they can process the pay-for-print services.
Send files to the B-made 3D printing team:
Learn more about our capability below:
- SLS (Selective Laser Sintering)
- Polyjet Object Connex (Multiple Polymer Printing)
- SLA (Stereo Lithography)
- FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling)
- machine: EOS Formiga P100
- build size: 240mm x 190mm x 320mm
- material: nylon powder
- cost: £0.07 / cubmic cm
- fine detail
- low cost when small
- flexible if thin
- good surface finish
- can print any geometry (no support material required)
- 3-day lead time
- white material only (can later be died or sprayed)
- large objects can warp
- machine: Objet Connex 500
- build size: 490mm x 190mm x 320mm
- material: acrylic-based resin (rigidity 30 shore to 95 shore)
- cost: calculated by weight
- dual-material printing
- can mix materials desireable flexibility
- rubber-like materials
- can print transparent
- 24-hour lead time
- can be expensive depending on geometry and size
- support material can be difficult to remove
- machine: Form labs – Form 2
- build size: 140mm x 140mmx 170mm
- material: acrylic-based resin (rigid and transluscent only)
- cost: calculated by amount of material used
- less expensive than the Objet
- support structure enables hollow parts
- can be brittle
- small build volume
- transluscent only (can be sprayed)
- supports leave behind small spikes
- machine: Makerbot Replicator Z18
- build size: 250mm x 250mm x 400mm
- material: 1.75mm PLA only (rigid)
- cost: calculated by machine running-time
- large build volume
- cheap for size of models produces
- you supply your own material to reduce cost
- poor surface finish
- support material can be difficult to remove
- a flat base will warp
3D printers require good quality data in order to create a successful model. Data integrity is vital before setting up a 3D print. Here are some things to check for before sending a model to print:
- units are set to mm
- model is the correct scale/size
- model is moved to origin location
- all objects are closed solids
- minimum thickness 1mm +
- export as STL file
Avoid or repair
- single surfaces
- missing surfaces
- duplicated geometry (overlapping)
- open edges
- files over 200mb
- self-intersecting geometry
- floating elements (not attached)
- geometry located away from the origin
- non-manifold edges
The material selected for each 3D print will vary depending on what is required of the model and its geometry. When we review your data and design we will be able to advise you on the most appropriate technology and material to use. Alternatively, if you know what material finish you require, we can give design guidelines to optimise the geometry to suit the process. A few material criteria are often:
- surface finish
- level of detail
- strength/functional properties
- lead time
- post processing option
- support structure/material