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Printing at CAE

All about printing at CAE

The Computer-Aided Engineering Center has black and white printers available in most of the CAE computer labs ( There are also two plotters (EH 1249 and ME 1262*) and a color printer (CAE 116).

Printing is charged to your WisCard. CAE CANNOT ACCESS YOUR GoPrint BALANCE. FUNDS MUST BE AVAILABLE FROM YOUR GENERAL WisCard BALANCE.  If you do not have a balance on your WisCard, you can find information about your WisCard here: . There are some situations where you may carry a balance in the printing system PaperCut. In these instances, your PaperCut balance will be charged before your WisCard. CAE has no mechanism in place for departmental paper purchases for printing in CAE labs.

NOTE: If you just activated, or replaced your WisCard, your funds may not appear in our record for up to 7 days. If this is the case, please let the CAE Help Desk know that you have a new WisCard so that we can manually sync the information.

Printers are provided for printing homework, and other related coursework. The printers are not meant for high-quality print jobs, such as resumes. CAE does not guarantee anything better than draft quality printing. Loading paper of any kind into the paper trays is not allowed.

The CAE Help Desk monitors the printer in CAE labs. Alerts are sent when the printer is in need of service. These notifications may take 15 minutes or more to reach the Help Desk. If you are waiting to resolve a printer issue, please contact the CAE Help Desk ( or call 262-5349. Opening a printer to add paper or clear a jam is not allowed, and may result in the suspension of your CAE account. Please do not clear paper jams. Instead, call the CAE Help Desk for assistance.

IT IS IMPORTANT to review your print settings. Sometimes, a program will select the wrong printer. Chrome is particularly bad about this. It will select a previously used printer instead of the nearest lab printer. In addition, be sure to review the duplex settings, and be sure that you are not accidentally printing to a plotter or the color printer.

CAE does not maintain a scanner. The nearest scanners can be found at the Steenbock and MERIT libraries, or at the Info Lab on the second floor of Union South.

Charges for printing on CAE Printers are as follows:

  • $0.07 per black & white page or $0.05 per side for duplex
  • $0.60 per color page
  • $1.80 per linear foot on plotter printers

Please double check your print settings before releasing your print job from the print queue (see below). Refunds will be given for illegible prints. Jobs that are sent to the wrong printer (including, wrong lab, the color printer or plotter) are not eligible for refunds.

In order to print on a CAE printer, you must either have a balance on your CAE PaperCut account, or have a WisCard with a balance on it. CAE does not use GoPrint, which is a campus printing system. For most CAE users, the Papercut account will only show a non-zero balance if you have been refunded print quota.

NOTE: Be careful not to add money to GoPrint through your WisCard for CAE printing. CAE cannot use the funds on your WisCard GoPrint Account. Please make sure to add to your main WisCard balance for printing at CAE.

Please note that the balance shown in the PaperCut widget on your CAE desktop will display the COMBINED balance of your WisCard and PaperCut account. So if you have $43.15 on your WisCard, and $2 in PaperCut credit, your balance will show as $45.15 in the widget. If you had no PaperCut balance, your balance would show as $43.15 in the widget. 

You can check your PaperCut balance here: 
and your WisCard balance by logging in here:

Cost of Printing at CAE:
  • $0.07 per black&white page or $0.05 per side for duplex
  • $0.60 per color page
  • $1.80 per linear foot on plotter printers

Please note that printing charges are now deducted from your WisCard. In most circumstances, a balance in PaperCut is from a print refund. CAE is not able to make refunds to a WisCard, so any refunds are made in PaperCut. The next time that you print, your PaperCut balance is deducted first, then your WisCard. Balances on a PaperCut account are non-refundable.
  1. Go to the following URL: (You need to be connected to campus wifi)
  2. You will be prompted for a login. Please use your CAE Login and Password as shown below. Click Log In.


You will now be at your PaperCut Account Summary. The amount of pages remaining on your account is located on this page as "Balance". To access a summary of all the jobs you have printed this semester, simply click the recent print jobs link on the left hand side of the page.


       You can also check your remaining print pages on a Linux machine by typing lpquot into the terminal.

Printers can sometimes be personified as troublesome and petulant, but here are some things that can help solve some of the mysterious things that happen when running into trouble printing a document:

Please note, CAE does not guarantee the print quality from our printers. You should expect "draft" quality, with the potential for lines and smudges. Refunds will not be given for low print quality, unless it is illegible. If you need professional quality, such as for resumes, please use a professional print shop.

General Troubleshooting:
Notice that most of these involve PDF files. These bring certain challenges as a small PDF file can be rendered into a giant monster by the program that opened it, causing the printer to fail on a job that seems reasonable.

-If you are printing a large PDF file, you may want to send it to the printer a few pages at a time.  This keeps large jobs from bogging down the print queue, as well as make it easier for the printer to process. Otherwise you can use the printers in ME 1262 or CAE 116 which are built to handle larger sized jobs such as these.
-Save PDF files to your desktop instead of printing them straight from a web browser. 

-Occasionally a downloaded PDF's settings will somehow get screwed up and the printer won't print it correctly.  When this happens, print the PDF as another PDF by selecting CutePDF writer from the list of printers.  

-If a document is getting hung up one page, or printing the same pages over and over, try converting the document to a pdf and printing that as an image:

-If a printer is jammed or out of paper, call the CAE Help Desk at 262-5349, don't try to fix it as your account can be suspended for messing with CAE equipment. Sometimes trying to fix it makes things much worse, and it is generally not hard to determine who did it.

-All of CAE's duplex printers default to print double sided.  If you wish to print a document single sided, you must go into the printer properties (Ctrl+P, then click on Properties) and switch from "Print on both sides" to "Print on one side only".

-Please note that CAE printers only have Letter (8.5x11) and Tabloid(11x17) sized paper available.  If you have a print job that won't send to the printer, you may be printing a size that is unavailable. The print server has been configured to reject jobs that aren't on the right sized paper.

-If printing from Google Chrome, regardless of what kind of file you are printing, be sure to check the print settings.  Chrome has been known to occasionally default to printers that aren't even in the same building as the lab you are printing from.

-Printers will not print a blank piece of paper.

Print account balance not showing:

There are a couple of reasons that your balance may not show up properly in the CAE system. The most common reason is that CAE does not use the campus print system. If you put a balance on the campus print system (Go Print), it will not show up on the CAE balance. You should add  money to your WisCard, The other reason that your balance may not show is if you recently had your WisCard replaced. The new WisCard number may not be updated in the CAE system. You can now manually update this by logging into and clicking "Refresh Campus Sync" under Account Tools (, then click Refresh Data.

Possible issues by Lab:

116 and 121 CAE:

  • Computers in these labs print to the printers in room 116. The main issue people run into is accidentally printing to the color printer, which results in a much larger charge to the print account. When printing from a computer in these rooms, be sure your print job is being sent where you want it to go, cae-116-duplex for black and white jobs or cae-116-color for color print jobs.

Plotters in EH 1249 and ME 1200 wing:

  • These rooms have a color plotter in addition to the black and white printers. As with the 3 rooms listed above, be sure you have the correct printer selected for where you want to print, which are as follows:

    EH 1249: engr-1249-plotter for poster sized prints and engr-1249-duplex for black and white print jobs.

    ME 1235, 1245, 1255, 1263: me-1262-plotter for poster prints and me-1262-duplex for black and white print jobs.

Printing problems are one of the most common issues that come to the CAE Help Desk. It can be difficult reproduce, diagnose and fix problems without information to work with. To gather as much information as possible up-front, CAE now requires submission of a print refund request form, found here: While this takes slightly more time up front, it will help CAE investigate and resolve the problems more efficiently.

Filling out the Print Refund Request Form

Be sure you attach the file you were attempting to print. If that file is not attached, no refund will be given. The file that is submitted will ONLY be used to test the printer.

Below are the fields included on the request form, as well as an explanation of what is needed for each entry and/or why we need the information. The first 3 fields are very straight forward, and simply gather contact information.

  • Name
  • CAE login
  • Email Address

  • Software/program printed from:

    This allows us to figure out if it is a specific program or file type that is causing the issues printing. If you are printing a PDF from learn at UW, you should state the Web browser you printed it from (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc), and not simply say "browser."

  • Computer printed from:

    This allows us to narrow down the cause to see if the problem is specific to one computer.  Generally this entry should be WIN-#### or Tux-### (ex WIN-1005 or Tux-102).

  • Printer attempted:

    This helps us figure out if it was a hardware issue with the printer. These are normally listed in a "Building-Room-Printer" format. EX. CAE-116-duplex or EH-2324-Plotter

  • Additional details:

    This field should contain any other information you find necessary. Examples could be: The printer jammed when there was no one working at the Helpdesk to clear it; the printer ran out of paper when no one was around to refill it; only a few pages of my multi-page document printed; the printer had an error; the job just didn't print; etc.

See Also:

Keywords:print CAE pages server lab plotter color printer PaperCut troubleshooting help paper quota jam out   Doc ID:27894
Owner:Noel K.Group:Computer-Aided Engineering
Created:2013-01-04 12:37 CDTUpdated:2022-08-16 15:18 CDT
Sites:Computer-Aided Engineering
Feedback:  3   14