3D Printing

The library has 3D printers that reproduce digital files as solid physical objects. Find out how to submit your files and take advantage of this technology. To use one of our 3D printers, fill out a printing request form.

About Our 3D Printers

The library has two MakerBot Sketch 3D printers for our free 3D printing service. The printers reside in the Studio and are managed by the Experiential Learning Team. We use PLA filament for all 3D print requests and the Sketch printers have an enclosed printing platform.

Using our 3D Printers

Our 3D printing service is an introduction to additive manufacturing technology for hobby-level experiences. We will do our best to accommodate your requests and specifications though we cannot guarantee a particular level of precision.

We have updated our 3D print request procedure due to the pandemic. Before you submit your request, keep review the following rules:

  • Print requests are free.
  • You may submit one print request per month (1 file per request).
  • Files should be in STL format (.stl).
  • Our printers can accommodate files up to 5.9” x 5.9” x 5.9” [150mm x 150mm x 150mm].
  • A maximum of three hours is allowed for each print job.
  • We cannot accommodate requests for specific colors.
  • Files will be printed as submitted. We will contact you if your item needs to be scaled down to fit the time limit.
  • You will be notified by phone or email when your print is complete and can pick up your item during curbside pickup hours during the third week of the month only. Items need to be picked up within one week.
  • The library is not responsible for failed 3D prints, although we will do our best to assist in completing successful 3D prints.
  • The library reserves the right to refuse any 3D print request.

 

Restrictions

The library’s 3D printer may not be used to create weapons or materials that:

  • Are prohibited by local, state, or federal law.
  • Are unsafe, harmful, dangerous, or that pose an immediate threat to the well-being of others.
  • Are inappropriate for the library environment.
  • Violate another person’s property rights. For example, the printer will not be used to reproduce objects or materials that are subject to copyright, patent, or trademark protection.

The library will not be liable for functional failure of, or injuries or property damage caused by, objects or materials made through the use of our 3D printer. We strongly recommend that the 3D printer not be used to make objects that could prove harmful or that would result in significant cost to the user if they fail.

Design resources

Software

We recommend Tinkercad, a free, web-based 3D design tool for beginner designers that includes lessons and short tutorials on available features. You will need a valid email address to sign up.

You also can try SketchUp and Blender. Both require downloading the free software.

To fix 3D design files, consider using free open-source repair software tools like Autocad Meshmixer and Blender.

Free STL files

You can get free designs from Thingiverse, an online community for 3D printing. Search by keyword, or browse collections and categories for design options. The STL file is available for download.