3D Printing


A 3D Printer is a manufacturing tool used to create three-dimensional artifacts that have been designed on a computer. The most common type of 3D printing is Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), which works by depositing melted plastic layer by layer from the bottom up to create an object - imagine that it is like a fancy, computerized hot glue gun. 

The best part is that using the 3D printers in the Clemson Makerspace is free!

3D printing does have limitations: 

3D Printers are located in both the Watt Makerspace and the Adobe Studio & Makerspace.

If you need help at any point, just ask one of the Makerspace interns! We are very friendly and we are here to help.


Use the 3D printer to create replacement parts, household helpers (ex: sponge holders for the kitchen sink), personalized objects (ex: keychain with your initials), models and replicas, jewelry - you name it!

This hand was 3D printed and then painted to show which parts of the hands are usually missed when washing; as found by a research study
This model was 3D printed and then painstakingly painted!
3D printing has lots of uses in the medical field: models for teaching; in addition to 3D printing artificial limbs, advances in dentistry, and more
Architectural models and replicas
Replacement parts and brackets

3D Printing Overview

You do not need to know how to use 3D modeling software to be able to 3D print! There are websites with free models that you can download and print. The Clemson Makerspace has 30+ 3D printers and they are all free to use. You can visit Watt Makerspace (in the Watt Center, on the first floor) or Cooper Makerspace (in Cooper Library, on the fifth floor) to find the 3D printers. 3D printers are first-come, first-served.


General safety training

Complete the Makerspace's General Safety Training + the General Safety Quiz + the Waiver Agreement


3D printer training

Complete the 3D Printer (FDM) module. Complete and pass the 3D printing quiz.


Select a 3D model

Find an object you want to 3D print on Thingiverse. Other repositories include MyMiniFactory, YouMagine, GrabCAD, CGTrader.

Check for complexity of object (number of parts, size)

Download the .stl file


Modify or create your 3D file

(optional) Use Tinkercad to modify your Thingiverse object or to make your own!

Tinkercad is extremely beginner-friendly. Use Tinkercad's built-in tutorials to learn or just start by playing around.

When you're done, export your model as a .stl file


Visit the Makerspace

When you’re ready to 3D print, visit Watt or Cooper Makerspace and pull up Cura on one of the computers. Cura is the software we use to prepare 3D prints - a process called “slicing”



Load the .stl of your design onto the computer, into Cura. Make sure your part is oriented properly.

Save the .gcode to an SD card. Ask an intern to start your print.

3D Print Status

Use the table below to check whether we have printers available. We try to keep this as accurate as possible but there will be times where it's off.

Spring 2024 Log

Ready to get started?

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