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3D Printing & Learning

Learn more about 3D printing in the medical library!

Who is the Service for?

The 3D printing service is available to anyone affiliated with the IU School of Medicine at no charge. If you are affiliated with an IU School of Medicine campus outside of Indianapolis, your 3D print will be shipped to you at no extra charge. 

Due to a significant increase in demand, there are plans to begin charging for 3D print requests starting in the Fall 2022 semester.

At this time, only designated library staff have hands-on access to the printers.

Other 3D Printing services are also available at Indiana University.

What can I print?

Models can be found from the model repositories listed on our 3D Modeling Resources page.

Library printers cannot be used to print any object that is:

  • illegal or prohibited by local, state or federal law
  • in violation of copyright, patent or trademark protection
  • used for clinical purposes
  • otherwise considered by library staff to be inappropriate 

Models are to be used for non-clinical applications only. If seeking models or prototypes for clinical usage, please contact IUPUI legal counsel Joe Scodro or Tom Gannon.

In order to ensure that all students, faculty, and staff at the IU School of Medicine have opportunity to request 3D prints, there is a 500g per individual limit on 3D print requests.

The Ruth Lilly Medical Library reserves the right to refuse any 3D print request. 

What if I want "fun" prints?

IUSM students, staff, and faculty who are interested in prints that are not related to medical education or research will be limited to one object per month, with a weight no greater than 25 grams. This limit is in place to ensure that the printers will be available for medical education/research use. Due to expense, "fun" prints are limited to the FDM printers that are listed on the Equipment page of this guide.

3D Print Request Form

  1. Read the Policies and Procedures in their entirety. The Ruth Lilly Medical Library 3D print service is only available to IU School of Medicine students, staff, faculty, and affiliates.
  2. Fill out the 3D Print Request Form, linked below.
  3. Wait to receive a response from Typically, you should hear back from someone within 2 business days (48 hours).
  4. Depending on how many print requests are in the queue, patrons on the Indianapolis campus can expect a minimum wait time of 2 weeks from the date they receive a confirmation email until their print is ready for pickup. Prints may take longer to reach patrons at statewide campuses due to shipping times.
  • The larger and more complex the print, the more time it will take (some take several days). 
  • Prints with organic shapes may require PVA support material, which makes the print time longer and also requires post-processing to remove the supports (1 to 2  days overnight in a water bath to dissolve the support material).