FDM 3D Printing Services - Fortus 250 • Fortus 400 • F270

ATTENTION: think[box] will be closed August 5-26. Parts will not be able to be picked up during closed days. We apologize for the inconvenience and ask that you plan your print jobs accordingly.


Quick Links

FDM 3D Printing Guidelines • FDM .STL Upload Form  3D Print Public Queue
ABS Material Properties • PC Material Properties • Exporting .STL Files from SolidWorks 
Exporting .STL Files from Creo Finding the Volume of a .STL Using Meshmixer 


Think[box]'s Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) 3D Printing Services offers rapid production of Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) and Polycarbonate (PC) parts. This service is perfect for iterative prototyping or fabrication of parts too complicated to do by hand. The services use three machines: a Fortus 250, a Fortus 400, and a F270. These are no hobby-grade desktop printers; these machines offer a very fine resolution, good finish, and strong intra-layer bonds. Thanks to the soluble support material, designers do not have to worry about overhanging parts, positive drafts, holes in sidewalls, and other traditional manufacturing details. Our ABS model material offers a strong, durable build finish and comes in multiple colors while our PC model material offers a higher tensile and flexural strength, a higher impact resistance, better UV resistance, and a higher heat resistance. 


How to Start

  1. Read the FDM 3D Printing Guidelines and prepare your design using your preferred 3D Modeling Software (SolidWorks, CREO, Rhino, Alias, Google SketchUp Pro, etc). If you do not have access to a CAD package, consider using one of the free CAD packages like 123D Design, TinkerCad, or the free educational download of Autodesk Inventor. Please note think[box] does not currently offer training on any CAD package, instead it is suggested that you search for online tutorials for your preferred CAD package. Use your home computer, Nord Lab, Reinberger Lab, or another lab on campus to prepare your design.  There are only a small number of computers at think[box], and they are to be used for running machines, not preparing designs.
  2. Using your preferred 3D Modeling Software, export your 3D Model as an STL file.  As a convenience, we offer a tutorial for Exporting STL Files From Solidworks, and a tutorial for Exporting STL Files from CREO.
  3. Determine the volume of material (in cubic inches) of your part.  If your software can't do that, then you can download Autodesk Meshmixer for free to calculate your parts volume in cubic inches.
  4. Upload your STL file using our FDM STL Upload Form.
  5. WAIT. You will receive a confirmation email within 72 hours, to verify your submission was received.  Then, you will receive another email when your part(s) are ready for pickup and payment.  Expected turnaround time is 3-5 working days.  Parts are generally run first-come first-served, however sometimes jobs are run out of order, for a variety of logistical reasons. Please be patient and wait for the email.
  6. Note: All parts will be discarded if they are not picked up within 30 days of receiving a ready for pickup email from think[box] staff.

File Format 

The 3D printer takes STL files, the most common 3D file format.  When exporting STL files from your modeling software, if you get an option to select a resolution, there is no need to go smaller than 0.001 inches.  The resolution of finished parts is 0.005 inches, so increasing the STL resolution much beyond this won't result in increased part resolution.


There are two FDM material choices. You may either print your part in ABS plastic (see material datasheet), or PC plastic (see material datasheet).  

Material properties such as Tensile Strength and Flexural Modulus are available in the material datasheets. Costs are based on the total number of cubic inches of modeling material your part will use, with rates published below:

Fortus 250, Fortus 400, F270 Print Supplies

Technical Details

ABS build envelope (XYZ): 308 x 254 x 308 millimeters (12 x 10 x 12 inches)

PC build envelope (XYZ): 406 x 355 x 406 millimeters (16 x 14 x 16 inches)

Layer thickness is 0.010 inches.  Parts are produced within an X-Y accuracy of ± .005 inches, however accuracy is geometry dependent. Achievable accuracy specification derived from statistical data at 95% dimensional yield.