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Output Center


3D Printing
The Output Center currently has 2 3D printers, a uPrint SE, and a Lulzbot TAZ 5.

uPrint SE – Our Dimension uPrintSE 3D Printer, located in 426 Design, uses a two-part plastic to create models in an 8″ x 8″ x 6″ envelope and prints high resolution, high quality parts. Models are submitted in STL file format, then output one layer at a time using the two materials to create the model and support areas.

Options for uPrint SE 3D Printer Use

1. Please drop your file on the dropbox:

  • Windows:  Open My Computer, and enter this address in the address box.
  • Mac: smb://

2. Login using your net-id and password.

3. Alternate method: Bring in your file on a USB drive if you cannot get the dropbox to work.


  • 3D Printer: $5.75/cubic inch material

We will process your file, then give you an estimate on the cost, expected completion date (based on the number of jobs already in the queue), and the time it will take to print your file. Additional time will be needed to clean the parts. Do not expect to get a part printed and cleaned the day your project is due! We have had jobs that take more than 11 hours just to print, and files are printed on a first come, first served basis.

Lulzbot TAZ 5: This is a mid-range consumer 3D Printer, appropriate for “quick and dirty” prototyping.

1. Bring in your file on a USB drive, and we will process the file, and give you an estimate as to cost and time to complete.

2. Cost to print:

  • $1.00 for 25 grams or less
  • $0.10 for each additional gram

Warning: This printer uses self-support, which means you will have to remove any material acting as support material manually. Lab staff do not clean models printed on this printer. 

Because this printer can only be run during our operating hours, and cannot be left unattended overnight, your job will be started when we are certain it will finish before closing. This is a very popular printer, and jobs can take several hours to finish. In addition, it is a consumer-level product, meaning that prints occassionally fail. Do not expect to get a part printed and cleaned the day your project is due! Files are printed on a first come, first served basis.

We are not responsible for failed prints stemming from problems with your files.

Laser Cutters
Iowa State's College of Design has three laser cutters, located in room 426 Design (The Output Center), and one laser cutter located in the Armory (Industrial Design Fabrication Lab).

The laser cutters in the Design Output Center are open to use by students, faculty, and staff, as long as the required online training has been successfully completed. The laser cutter in the Armory is NOT open to general use, and is restricted to those in Industrial Design, or those with special permission.

Note: Design Core students are NOT eligible for laser cutter training.


To gain access to online training, email Jennifer Nieland, with the subject line, “Lasercutter Training Request”. You will receive a confirmation email once you have been added to the site.

Requests received between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm on weekdays are generally handled within an hour. Please allow plenty of time to complete the training before you intend to cut. Information contained within the training may affect your project ideas, so do NOT expect to cut the same day you request or complete your training. CORE students are NOT eligible for laser cutter training, due to the nature of the CORE program. No training requests or passes will be processed on weekends or holidays.

Laser Cutter Specifications

All three laser cutters are made by Universal, and those housed in 426 Design have a bed size of 32″ x 18″. The Armory laser cutter has a bed size of 48″ x” 24″. Our laser cutters can accommodate materials up to 1/8 of an inch thick. Material settings have been tested for the following materials and thicknesses:

  • 1/16 in. acrylic
  • 1/16 in. basswood
  • 1/16 in. chipboard
  • 1/16 in. taskboard
  • 3/32 in. taskboard
  • 1/32 in. acrylic
  • 1/32 in. chipboard
  • 1/32 in. taskboard
  • 1/32 in. veneer
  • 1/8 in. acrylic
  • 1/8 in. basswood
  • 1/8 in. taskboard
  • Art paper
  • Canson paper
  • Cardboard
  • Freezer paper
  • Heavy matte paper
  • Silk
  • 2-ply bristol board
  • Osnaberg cotton
  • Vellum
  • Wool Felt

Note: Not all cutters have all material settings available. Cutter #3 has ALL settings available, #1 has most, and #2 has only basic materials settings (acrylics, cardboard, chipboard, basswood, and art paper).

Please see the section on Materials for further information.


  • Laser Cutter Fees: $0.10/minute, plus materials.
CNC Router
Iowa State's College of Design has a AXYZ 4008 router located in the Design Model Shop (020 Design).

The router has a 4′ x 8′ cutting bed and 7.5″ of vertical travel. Because of the complexity of this machine, additional training is required for students and faculty.

Color and Black and White Printers
All College of Design lab printers are located in our output center in room 426 Design, along with other additional, specialized devices. All transactions are either billed to your UBill, or billed to an account.

If you need to set up an account, please email Jennifer Nieland.

Equipment and Costs

  • Lab Black & White Printing: Managed through PaperCut. Cost per page/side = 5 credits. Design Students receive a quota of 1300 credits per academic year. Any printing to the Lab Black & White printers that exceeds that quota will be billed to your UBill at 5 cents per page/side.
    • For double-sided printing, just click the option in the print dialog, under Layout > Long-edge binding.
  • Savin 5100 Pre-press color printer: First print – $1.25 per page, multiple copies of that print – $.50 per page.
    • Letter: Regular, Glossy, Heavy Gloss, and Heavy Matte
    • Tabloid (11×17): Regular, and Heavy Matte
    • 12×18: Heavy Matte, Glossy, and Heavy Gloss
  • Epson 9890 Wide Format color printer: handles up to 36 inch wide prints on Photo Luster paper: $.60 per linear inch.
    • This printer is used to produce high-quality, archival prints.
  • Epson 3880 Photo Printer: Satin and Glossy papers in the following sizes:
    • 8.5×11 – $2.00
    • 13×19 – $4.00
    • 17 x 22 – $6.00
  • Océ Colorwave Wide-format plotter/copier/scanner: up to 36 inch wide color plots, or copies, on bond paper. $.75/square foot.
    • This printer is best suited for plans and other low ink-coverage prints.
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