3D Printing

3D Printing is an additive process by which an object is created by laying down successive layers of material. The object is typically derived from a stereolithographic file commonly known as a STL. Many 3D modeling programs can export your digital model as a STL file.
The USC School of Architecture has one Projet 660 powder printer with a build area of 10”x15”x 8”, and four Dimension uPrint FDM (fused deposition modeling) ABS printers with a build area of 8”x 8”x 6”


  1. 3D printing is generally limited to class specific projects. The application for use can be found below and must be submitted by a Faculty member. Any individual student requests should be directed to 3D print staff for submission and approval.
  2. Students must submit STL files in person via flash drive or email files to usc3dp@gmail.com
  3. File preparation should follow the guidelines in the “3D Printing File Preperation” document below.
  4. After the file is reviewed and approved, students will be emailed a cost estimate. After the the student approves the cost, the file will be put in the print queue. 3D prints can be picked up in the 3D print room and payment is via USC discretionary card only.
  5. Generally STL files should conform to the following:
    Polygon count not to exceed 50,000 faces.
    File size not to exceed 50 MB.
    Print time not to exceed 24 hours.
    ABS prints should maintain a minimum wall thickness of .04”
    Powder prints should maintain a minimum wall thickness of .06”
    Powder printer has a build area of 10”x15”x 8”
    ABS printers have a build area of 8”x 8”x 6”
    The model should be water tight, it should not have any open (naked) edges and a volume check should give you a resulting number.
    All the normals must point out.
    Units should be in inches.
  6. Powder prints must be excavated and depowdered by the students.
    When the print is started the student will be informed via email when they need to come to excavate.
    If a student does not show up, the print may be excavated by the staff.
    If the print breaks it will not be reprinted unless paid for again.
    If the student is advised their file is delicate and may break, it is the students responsibility.
    No refunds or reprints unless paid for again.
  7. Generally turn around on 3D prints is one week or less, but may take longer during peak times.
    Cost is determined by the volume of the print. It is $10 per cubic inch.



Linked PDF’s

2013 Faculty Application for access to Digital Fabrication

3D Prototyping File Preparation – Dimension FDM

3D Prototyping File Preparation – ZCorp

3D Printing Order Form



For questions please contact usc3dp@gmail.com