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The Spark

Igniting the imagination through cooperative learning

3D Printing

image of Ender printers that are available for Self Service

3D Printing @ The Spark

There are an ever growing number of 3D printers in todays market. The technology is exciting and the use of the 3D modeling and printing technologies are rapidly growing in to a wide range of career fields. At the Spark we currently have fused deposition modeling or FDM 3D printers in our collection. FDM printers use a material extrusion process which involves the heating of a thermoplastic through the use of a hot end. The thermoplastic is generally referred to as a filament, and once it passes through the heated hot end it melts and is extruded in thin layers on to a printer bed. The Gcode, which is the coded language that tells the printer where to extrude the filament, outlines the steps for the printer building the .stl model layer by layer.

At the Spark we offer two styles of 3D printing services; Full Service and Self Service. Full service 3D printing at the Spark is designed to be a paid service. At $1 per print hour, the Spark staff handles set up of the 3D printer as well as oversite of the job in progress. On the other hand, The Spark offers access to Self Service 3D printers, which require training and check out, but allow for you to set up and manage your print on your own. The flexibility of the set up allows you to choose the service that will fit your needs. More details regarding each service is outlined below.


Rules that Apply to 3D Printing

  1. The Spark has the right to refuse to process a print
  2. Absolutely no weapons or weapon like objects are allowed to be printed
  3. The patron is responsible for complying with copyright for any printed items
  4. Prints are not food safe or safe for any kind of internal use. 
  5. Fumes released can be toxic if exposed to high temperatures

Full Service 3D Printing

The Full service 3D printing at The Spark, is processed through an online queue. Submission to the queue can be placed at Full service within the Spark generally cost $1.00 per print hour and includes:

  • 3D Model Review
  • Materials Assessment
  • Machine Setup
  • Quality Control monitoring
  • Print options
    • Material selection options (ABS, PLA, TPU* and color choices**)
    • Print bed upgrades
    • Specialty printers

*TPU and other blended filaments are generally only in when a specific request is made or we are running a test with the materials. IT usually takes about 7-10 days to get in a filament when a special request is put in.

**We keep a number of the more commonly requested colors on hand of ABS and or PLA. See the chart below for the colors we generally have in our inventory. We can also order colors if a full service request comes in generally it takes 7-10 days to get a color in.

Full Service Filament Color Options
Color Filament Type/s
Blue (True, Ocean, Light) ABS, PLA
Brown ABS
Gray (Light and Dark) PLA
Green (Lime, Silk, True) PLA
Orange PLA
Purple PLA
Silver ABS
Transparent ABS, PLA, PETG
Transparent tinted (Blue, Green Orange, Yellow)


Yellow PLA

Please see the information below regarding the 3D printers we have in our collection.

Self Service 3D Print Queue

Requires training. Schedule an in person training appointment.

The Self Service 3D printers at The Spark are available for trained UNT community members to use. Self Service is for those of you who are already familiar with 3D printers, 3D modeling, .stl file creation, Slicing and gcodes. Self service does require that you go through training, and that you consistently demonstrate respect for the machines, procedures, and best practices for using the printers. Self Service 3D printers are in space circulation items, which means the printer is checked out to you for use in The Spark location. Self Service is provided at no cost to you and includes:

  • Safety and use training
  • Orange PLA filament only

Circulation Process

The circulation process for the self service printers begin with a safety and use training. If you already have been trained the blue binder is always available at the front desk as a reference or you can request a retraining. Also, the profile for CURA is available for download here. It is highly recommended that you slice your file and have an idea of how many grams of filament you may need to complete your print before coming in to check out a printer/filament. 

  • Checkout
    • Checkout the filament and printer from the Spark service desk during makerspace hours
      • Training verification and authorization check is run at checkout
    • Complete a Self Service Print Sheet using the QR code by the printer
  • Printer Use
    • You load the filament
    • You load the model
    • You start the print- the printer will give you an idea of how long the print is going to take.
      • Note:
        •  The Spark is not responsible for the print 
          • Leaving it unattended is at your risk
        • The staff will stop a print if it is causing damage to the printer.
  • Check-In
    • You are responsible for properly finishing the printing process including:
      • Scanning the QR code to finish out the print details
      • Remove print from the printer
      • Weigh the print 
      • Properly unload the filament 
        • *May require heating up the printer prior to removal and then setting it to cool back down
      • Return the filament to the Spark service desk to be checked in


Ender 3

Ender 3 Self Service 3D Printing

  • Access: Available for use. Important to note:
    1. We only have PLA filament for the Self Service Printers
    2. Orange is the only color available
    3. Training is required before use.
  • Profiles for slicing files
  • Website: Ender 3
  • Print Area: 229 mm x 229 mm x 229 mm (9 in x 9 in x 9 in)

Location Information

  • Discovery Park M152
  • Willis Library 135 
3D printing filament spools
3D orange fish
several 3D items

Ender 5

Ender 5 Information

  • Pricing: Available for a charge of $1.00 per hour for your submitted print jobs.
  • Website: Ender 5
  • Print Area: 350 mm x 350 mm x 400 mm (13 in x 13 in x 15 in)

Location Information

  • Discovery Park M152
  • Willis Library 135



PolyPrinter 229

PolyPrinter 229

PolyPrinter 229 Information

  • Pricing: Available for a charge of $1.00 per hour for your submitted print jobs.
  • Website: PolyPrinter 229
  • Print Area: 229 mm x 229 mm x 229 mm (9 in x 9 in x 9 in)

Location Information

PolyPrinter 229
3D printing filament spools
3D orange fish
several 3D items


PolyPrinter 465DX

PolyPrinter 465DX Information

  • Pricing: Available for a charge of $1.00 per hour for your submitted print jobs.
  • Website: PolyPrinter 465
  • Print Area: 465 mm x 229 mm x 229 mm (18 in x 9 in x 9 in)

Location Information


3D printing filament spools


Additional Links