3D printing opens the door for a wide range of new research and clinical applications.  To enable prototyping opportunities OIT offers the Bluesmith Advanced 3D Printing Lab.  

Bluesmith is a prototyping service that leverages digital fabrication technologies for the production of research and medical concepts.  Leveraging state-of-the-art 3D printing technologies we can help you create clinical visualization prototypes or bring a research idea to life.  Through this lab, the Duke community has access to state of the art equipment and consulting services. 

How It Works

3D prints will be created for you based on your submissions.  Each 3D printed part is of a custom nature so consultations are often part of the printing process. 

  • The requestor submits their 3D printed files to or emails the address to coordinate a project consultation. 
  • These prints will be configured and run by the expert staff at the print studio. 
  • Models are printed on dedicated printers using a variety of materials. Materials may be specified by the requestor or chosen by the lab consultant based on the needs of the application. 
  • We are often faster and less expensive than using online print services
  • Bluesmith is a cost-recovery service.  Charged fees are used to recover expenses related to printing materials and other lab consumables.  All money recovered from this service will be used to improve lab operation. 

Bluesmith interactions are handled via our printing portal.  All you need to get started is an .STL file of your model. Payment is accepted via fund-code or credit-card.

Design Support

Bluesmith focuses on the manufacturing of specific parts already designed and ready to work within a printer's parameters. However, if a project needs support in developing a design, the Co-Lab DesignHub team provides design consultation and project development.  Staff and student designers in this team have extensive skill with CAD modeling, fabrication, design-for-print considerations and product design. To reach out and work with DesignHub, there is a pre-screening discussion and a group consultation to settle the project details. Once the project is understood, specific designers will work towards completing a fitted design.  The finalized design can then be sent to Bluesmith for manufacturing and reiterations as needed.

How to get help