What is Bluesmith?
Bluesmith is the Innovation Co-Lab's Professional additive manufacturing service. The equipment suite and job pickup table is located on West Campus in the TEC (Telcom Building - 2 Telcom Drive). This service specializes in printing unique and high-precision models used for research, medical, and other professional needs. Bluesmith is a Duke Service Center, allowing us to support projects that have received federal funds as well as entities outside of Duke University.
Bluesmith is a student-run service with the vast majority of prints and consultations being led by undergraduate students. This service is a cost-recovery service, meaning that we charge for materials and equipment time, and provide consultation to ensure the best results possible. This service is separate from the free, self-service printing available at the Co-Lab studio spaces.
How it Works
Bluesmith provides end-to-end service from initial consultation to final print, including expert advice on how to best use the various printers and materials we have available for your project. Once we agreed on all the details and costs, we'll print your model to your specifications and post-processing needs. To get started, request a consultation here.
If you're ready to print, or have already consulted with us, the first step is to send your print-ready files to bluesmith.oit.duke.edu, our job management and billing system. Models are printed on dedicated printers using a variety of materials to your specifications and needs. All you need to get started is an .STL file of your model. Upon submission to the site, we will review your files and produce an estimate or request a consultation within one to three business days. Once the estimate is approved, staff will begin printing. Printing and post-processing typically takes no less than 7 days.
The cost of 3D printing varies widely and is based on technology and the amount of material used. We currently manage a fleet of nearly a dozen different additive manufacturing technologies, capable of countless options of materials and physical properties. For the full breakdown of equipment, materials, and associated fees, visit our Capabilities page on the Bluesmith application. Charged fees are used to recover expenses related to printing materials, machine usage, and other lab consumables. Printer material and consumable fees are charged at-cost, and startup and hourly costs are charged to recover maintenance costs and service contracts. Payment is accepted via fund code or credit card. Duke Corporate Cards are not accepted. If you have a Duke Corporate Card, please pay with the corresponding fund code.