UBC Rapid will be expanding the variety of materials available for student and faculty rapid prototyping projects. Currently, most printers available to UBC undergraduate students are limited to either ABS and PLA. While both materials are useful in prototyping, they severely limit the types of parts students can produce. The biggest challenge is the lack of generally accepted guidelines for printing in materials other than PLA and ABS; this project aims to fill in the gaps of knowledge by developing resources for using non-standard materials on 3D printers, and ultimately make other materials (such as composites) available for student/faculty use. Filaments to be tested include:

  • Metal (Aluminum, Brass, Bronze, Stainless Steel)

  • Carbon fiber

  • Flexible (TPU, TPE)

  • Polycarbonate

  • PTFE (Nylon)

  • Water Soluble

  • PETG

  • Conductive

  • Magnetic

  • Wax

  • and many more!



Working and well-calibrated 3D printers are the core of UBC Rapid’s operations. Currently, UBC Rapid has 6 working printers and 5 more printers preparing for service. 3 of these printers are set aside for the 3D printing service, which gives new members the opportunity to work with clients and develop experience with 3D printing. However, as these printers are used the most, these printers often require more love in the form of replacement parts and monthly repairs.



UBC Rapid aims to upgrade the current Prusa i3 MK2 printers with the ability to print with multiple filaments at once. Using the official Prusa i3 MK2 Multi Material upgrade kits, UBC Rapid will be able to print up to four materials onto a single part.

Photo Credits: https://hackaday.com/2016/10/03/maker-faire-multicolor-and-multi-material-3d-printing/

Photo Credits: https://hackaday.com/2016/10/03/maker-faire-multicolor-and-multi-material-3d-printing/


UBC Rapid hosts workshops to teach new recruits about 3D printers. These workshops last one term and repeat every year after recruiting new members. These workshops are mandatory for all new recruits as they include skills required to work safely and efficiently in the workspace. Workshops include, but are not limited to:

  • how to use software required to operate UBC Rapid’s 3D printers

  • operating and troubleshooting 3D printers

  • general 3D printer safety orientations

Workshops rotate between individual work and group work. By the end of the workshops, recruits will work in a team of 5 to build a 3D printer and operate printers for the UBC Rapid Printing Service. (Details can be seen in ‘Project Timeline’). As some workshop content is applicable to student life beyond 3D printers, students who successfully complete the workshops will have a future edge in leading teams or in jobs requiring fluency in CAD software.