3D Printing

What is a 3D Printer?

A 3D printer is a machine that uses melted plastic to build objects according to the specifications of a .STL file. A spool of plastic threading is loaded into the printer, melted, and extruded by the print head, which gradually forms the shape of the object layer by layer as it moves back and forth.

3D printers like the one we have at the library are great for creating small items like toys, novelties, and jewelry.

How to

You can use the library’s printer in three easy steps:

Step 1: Choose a model

There are a variety of websites that allow you to find and download ready-made 3D print models–many of which are free.

Check out:

Thingiverse
CGTrader.com
MyMiniFactory.com

3D printing is a slow process which can involve some trial and error; even small objects can take several hours to print. The library cannot accept items that take longer than 5 hours to print. Check the details, examples, and user feedback provided with the model before you download. Try to avoid models that are overly complex or larger than 5″ in any direction.

Step 2: Submit .STL file

After you have created or found the 3D model that you want to print, submit the .STL file here.

All objects to be printed must be smaller than 8”x5”x5” and take less than 5 hours to print.

Submissions must also follow the 3D printer policy and can only be printed in white PLA plastic.

After submitting your file, a library staff member will review the file to see if it is suitable for printing. If it is, a staff member will contact you to review the cost of printing, which will be due at pick up. There is a minimum charge of $0.50 per print plus cost of the filament, which can range from $0.10 to $10.00.

Step 3: Pick up your print

The library will contact you when the printed object is ready. Come to the circulation desk when you arrive. All printing costs will be due at time of pick up. The library cannot guarantee a specific time or day when a print will be ready.