Batten Institute

Batten Institute - Ventures - Prototyping Support

Prototyping Support

The Darden Makerspace: 3D Printers

3D printers are available for use by all current Darden students, faculty and staff to fabricate prototype components and tools for Darden-related coursework and projects. The printers are for academic use only and may not be used for any commercial purpose or private financial gain, including, but not limited to, producing an item or items for sale. Nor may be they be used for production-level printing (e.g. many copies of the same thing) without permission. Please review the contents of the tabs below for instructions on how to access the printers and policies for their use.

3D Printer Request Form

  • Printers

    MakerBot Replicator 2

    • Fused Filament Fabrication desktop additive manufacturing machine
    • Build Volume: 11.2" x 6.1" x 6"
    • Use: Early-stage prototyping for form and fit evaluation. Functional prototypes in light-duty applications.
    • Material: PLA (standard). Please inquire for information about using other materials.

    MarkForged Onyx 1

    • Fused Filament Fabrication desktop additive manufacturing machine
    • Build Volume: 12.6" x 5.2" x 6"
    • Use: Functional and late-stage prototypes requiring enhanced strength and stiffness.
    • Material: Markforged “Onyx” filament ONLY (nylon mixed with chopped carbon fiber). It’s heat resistant, formulated to produce in a smooth surface finish, and is often used for tooling and fixtures.


  • Access

    The Darden Makerspace 3D printers are overseen by trained Darden staff and students to ensure safe operation of the machines and successful print production.

    Darden students, faculty and students interested in 3D printing a design should first submit the request form to request access. Completed forms are reviewed by a Darden staff member, and once approved, requestors receive an email with a link to a Google Folder to which the 3D print file should be uploaded. Staff will email a confirmation of receipt and send any follow-up questions. Please review the Guidelines tab for information regarding printer capabilities and best practices.

    In some cases, students with extensive 3D-printing experience may be approved to operate the printers (independent of staff) but must agree to the following:

    •    Remain in the makerspace at all times while actively printing.
    •    Only use approved filament. Using any other filament will void the warranty and possibly damage the printer.
    •    Do not modify the printers in any way.
    •    Notify staff immediately if there is an issue or when filament is running low.
    •    Complete the UVA online makerspace agreement form.

  • Limitations

    Objects printed on the 3D printers must only be produced consistent with federal, state and local laws as well as University policies. Accordingly, the 3D printers may NOT be used to create material that is:

    •    Prohibited by local, state or federal law.

    •    Unsafe, harmful, dangerous or poses an immediate threat to the well-being of others. No firearms or other weapons, obscene or inappropriate objects may be created using the 3D printers.

    •    In violation of another parties’ intellectual property rights. For example, the printers will not be used to reproduce material that is subject to copyright, patent or trademark protection.

    •    The Darden Makerspace reserves the right to refuse any 3D print request.

  • Cost and Availability

    During the introductory period, there will be no charge for most printing. However, a service fee for additional filament may be applied if a design is determined to be very large.

    The Darden Makerspace makes no guarantee of the availability of the 3D printing resources. Print jobs will be initiated on a first-come first-served basis, with exceptions made only at the discretion of staff. Additionally, there may be times when the printer is inaccessible because it is being repaired, experiencing heavy use, or is being used for an event or a course.

  • Guidelines
    • Submit only .STL or .OBJ files for printing.
    • The Darden Makerspace reserves the right to orient submitted 3D models to minimize printing cost. Please specify the preferred orientation in the submission process if desired.
    • All prints will be made using PLA with the MakerBot 3D printer unless otherwise specified. Refer to the Printers tab in this guide to learn about other 3D printing options.
    • Use the MakerBot Replicator 2 to evaluate the form and fit of the prototype, and then use the Markforged for final prototyping once form and fit are confirmed.
    • The Darden Makerspace provides white PLA and Markforged “Onyx” chopped carbon fiber-filled nylon for printing.
    • Please contact us before project submission if you are interested in using alternative materials made available by the Darden Makerspace.
  • Helpful Resources

    Technical Expert 

    Need help with a design?  A volunteer technical design expert is available to review and provide feedback on your design before you go to print. Please contact us for more information.


    Places to search for 3D objects


    Examples of free software options to create 3D objects


Sandra McCutcheon
Assistant Director, Venture Programs
Batten Institute