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3-Dimensional Printing & Rapid Prototyping Facility



Why Use This Service
Getting Started
What's New
Location and Hours
Tips For Reducing Cost


The VSC 3D printing services has been discontinued. The Product Realization Lab (PRL) offers 3D printing services on campus.

We will only provide CAD support moving forward.

If you require CAD support, please email Jerome at


Thank you for supporting the VSC 3D printing services.



Why Use This Service:


Other 3D printing options on campus cannot be used for research
  • Other resources (like PRL) are subsidized for student education, and so they cannot be used for funded research.
  • This service is focused on and streamlined for medical research applications.
  • Computer-aided design (CAD) - We offer assistance from tweaking your current design to designing something from scratch.


We specifically chose the Ideal printer for medical research applications

  • Highest resolution printer on campus (16 micron accuracy). Unique aspects of the printing technology allow feather-weight thin structures that would be destroyed in post-processing for other printers.
  • The unique printing technology results in truly solid, non-porous parts (e.g. water-tight, air tight). Cheaper printers produce microscopic cavities which mean the resulting parts are porous.
  • Genuine acrylic plastic, not a resin approximation to plastic that may be toxic and will deform over time.
  • Additionally, we offer an FDM printer alternative that is capable of printing various materials (see for some possibilities). Please note that FDM printers have a lower resolution of ~500 microns.
Rapid turnaround
  • Small parts can be printed, cleaned and ready for pickup on the same day (up to ~1/2" high)
  • Located on campus for convenience ( Shriram Center for Bioengineering & Chemical Engineering).


Painless compliance to Stanford policies

  • Using an off-site commercial 3D printing services, involves long delays due to contracting, disclosure agreements and other Stanford legal requirements to protect intellectual property.
  • Using an off-site vendor without these safeguards in place risks unauthorized intellectual property disclosure, possible loss of copyright ownership, and violation of Stanford intellectual property and licensing policies.
  • Your work remains in-house, confidential and protected.


Getting Started


  • Stanford Users:  LOGIN or REGISTER for an iLab account using valid Stanford credentials (SUNet ID).

  • Already have an STL file ready to print?

    Click the "Request Form" tab above (or CLICK HERE) to begin the print request submission.

  • New to 3D printing? Need assistance with a design? General Consultaion?

    Click the the "Scheduling" tab above (or CLICK HERE) to schedule an appointment.



What's New


  • We now have an FDM printer (Airwolf 3D HD-R) capable of printing various materials. Email us for more info.
  • iLab Solutions software integration - Cloud based ordering system 





Dr. Joseph Garner | PI, Associate Professor

Office:  (650) 498-4252

Fax:  (650) 725-0940

Email:  jgarner at



Location and Hours of Operation




Comparative Medicine

Technical Refinement & Innovation Lab

Shriram Center for Bioengineering & Chemical Engineering Room SB41

Stanford, CA 94305


9 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday to Friday  






Links and Resources




Tips for Reducing Cost:


Why is 3D printing expensive?
  • The major expense is labor (post processing). Printing one part at a time may be necessary for rapid prototyping, but is much more costly, and doesn't make much sense in a research setting.
  • This is easily offset by printing multiple parts. The print area of our machine is very large, so we can put a huge number of small parts into one job, making them incredibly inexpensive.


How do I make my project inexpensive?

  • Essentially the cost of 3D printing is the cost of the print job, the number of parts in the job is relatively unimportant. There are many ways you can reduce cost by printing multiple parts in one job.
  • Do you really need just one part? How about spares?
  • If you have several alternative designs, or several parts, combining them into one job will have almost the same total cost as printing just one part. You might as well try out even your craziest idea, because it costs so little to add it to the job.
  • If there are several projects in your lab that all need parts, then combine them together into one job if you can.
  • In the Cost Estimator (Request Form Page), enter the size of your largest part, and see how the per part cost decreases with the more parts you print in the job. If your parts really differ in size then the smaller parts will essentially be covered by the largest part.
  • The estimator figures a worst-case scenario for the cost of your job - the final cost will most likely be lower. 


Why are some commerical services so cheap?

  • The cheapest services are using very low quality printers – this may be fine for home hobbies, but they are ineffective for research work. Extruded plastic printers deform during printing, are unable to print complex hollow spaces, are porous, low resolution, and can deform even during the printing process. Mid-range resin printers produce parts that deform over time, under stress, and under mild heating.
  • The cheapest services often claim ownership of your work – prints of your parts become available for general sale online.



Publication Acknowledgment


As with all Stanford Service Centers, credit must be given to Stanford 3-Dimensional Printing Facility (3D) for data that results in a publication. If the work done at Stanford 3D produces data resulting in a figure in a publication, you are required to acknowledge Stanford 3D in the publication. Further, if Stanford 3D staff members provided significant experimental design, data interpretation, or other intellectual contribution (as evaluated by the PI), then it is expected that these individuals will be coauthors on the publication.






Name Role Phone Email Location
Jerome Geronimo
Lab Manager

Dr. Joseph Garner


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