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Digital Scholarship Innovation Studio

3D printer LCD screen

Digital Scholarship at UCSC

Frequently Asked Questions

DSI Frequently Asked Questions

Who is allowed to use DSI equipment?

Any UCSC affiliate (students, faculty, and staff) who has completed Library training.


When are training sessions available?

Online training is offered through a self-paced training at any time.  In-person training sessions can be found on our DSI Training Calendar.


How do I reserve a 3D printer once I have completed the training?

Here's the link to the page to reserve a 3D printer: Space Availability - Science & Engineering Library - Library Events - University Library Home (

From the UCSC library home page: Reserve a Study Room > Reserve a Study Room in the Science & Engineering Library > choose the category Digital Scholarship Innovation Studio.


Do I have to be taking a class to use the equipment?

No.  Classes that collaborate with the DSI will get priority use as determined between DSI librarians and instructors; however, we invite any UCSC affiliate with an academic or creative project to use the space.


Can you print/cut/engrave something for me?

Probably not.  We are working on a program that will allow you to request a print for checkout, but we won't print something for you that you can keep for yourself.  The DSI operates under the philosophy that the making process is an important part of the learning process.  If you have a project you're interested in, you are welcome to learn how to use our equipment and print out your project yourself.  The exception to this would be any classes where we are collaborating with instructors and faculty to meet their specific learning goals for an assignment.


How much does it cost to use the equipment?

Currently, there is no cost to use our equipment.  We provide access to any of our filaments, up to 5 pieces of 12x20" birch wood, and a variety of vinyl and paper at no cost.  This policy will be revisited to determine feasibility and may change.


What can I make?

Almost anything!  Items in the list below are prohibited.  DSI students and staff review each project at equipment checkout and have the right to request a further review by the DSI director if questionable.  

  • No weapons
  • No copyrighted materials
  • No illegal objects
  • No prints that have a print time of longer than 6 hours


What filaments can I print with?

You can print with any filament that the library provides.  A list of filaments that the library carries can be found on the Filament Safety Data Sheet page.  Colors and material types will change with availability.  Please email if you are interested in knowing what we currently have in stock.


What materials can I use on the Glowforge?

We provide 5 12x20 sheets of birch wood to each student using the Glowforge.  We do not have other materials available in the space at this time.  Currently, we are focused on wood cutting in the DSI.  If you want to bring in your own materials, they need to be reviewed by DSI staff.  Two frequently requested materials that we can't support are metal and acrylic.  The Glowforge isn't powerful enough to cut metal, and we don't have proper ventilation for acrylic materials.


What is the longest print time I can set a print for?

We require that you add an additional hour to your print time (30 minutes each at the beginning and the end) to account for setup, takedown, and possible errors.  If you arrive right when we open at 10 am, you can set a print to go that is estimated to run for 6 hours.

For the Glowforge, we request that your Glowforge project time is expected to complete at least 15 minutes before we close at 5pm.


I have a really long print I want to do, can I leave it to go overnight?

No.  We cannot leave our printers to run without someone attending them.  If your print takes longer than our open time, we recommend breaking the print up into multiple pieces and gluing it together after printed.


I'm teaching a class and I want to provide an assignment that uses 3D printing or have some 3D objects printed for my class.  How do I do that?

To be sure that we can properly support your class, please contact us at  We are eager to work with you and find the best way to support your unique needs.  We do not recommend incorporating DSI equipment use into a class without first reaching out to us, as we cannot guarantee availability without collaboration and planning.


Last updated 2/16/23