3D Printing


3D Printing

Give Your Creativity Dimension…Print in 3D

Get creative using our 3D printer. Choose designs from numerous websites, or create your own designs using open source CAD software. Bring your designs to us on a flash drive, and see your objects take shape. New to 3D printing? Click here for a guide to 3D printing http://3dinsider.com/3d-printing-guide/

Explore the 3D Design Online Tools and Help section below for more information.

Get Started

Visit the Help Desk to get started.

  • Bring in your .STL or .OBJ file in on a flash drive.
  • Staff will review the file with you, provide a total cost, and prepare your print job.
  • Cost is15¢ per gram of plastic with a $1.50 minimum.
  • Once your object is completed, we will contact you to pick it up.
  • Objects will be held for 7 days for pick up.

3D Rules

  • The printer may only be used for lawful purposes and be for objects appropriate for a public library environment.
  • Objects must not infringe upon any third party's intellectual property rights.
  • Object must not be illegal nor can they be construed as having the intent to harm.
  • The library reserves the right to refuse any print request at the discretion of library staff.
  • The library will not save or retain submitted files after printing objects.
  • Staff will not modify or change models once submitted.

Tech Notes

  • Maximum size: 
  9 in. L x 9 in. W x 9 in. H
  • Material: ABS plastic filament
  • Printers:
    • (2) PolyPrinter 229
  • Objects print in a single color
  • Accepted file formats:
    • .STL
    • .OBJ
    • THING
  • Typical Layer Resolution Range: .05mm to .25 mm (about 70% of nozzle diameter is a useful maximum). Layers thinner than .05 can be created but will not result in noticeably better prints.
  • Nozzle Size: .35mm

Some Common Questions

What colors are available?

The selection of colors is subject to availability. The library frequently has the following colors on hand:

  • White
  • Red
  • Yellow
  • Black
How long does it take?

Normally the library will be able to complete print requests in 1 week. We will add your request to our print queue and contact you as soon as the item is ready for pick up.

How large is 10 grams of plastic?

The weight of an object depends upon how hollow or solid an object is designed and printed. Feel free to stop by the library with your .stl or .obj file and we can give you an estimate of weight and cost.

My object has multiple parts. Should I submit them as a single file or each as separate file?

You should submit each part or component of your object as a separate file. This allows the library to optimize the print settings for each component.

Can I estimate the weight of my objects at home?

You can look at the file specifications to determine the weight of the completed project or we will weigh it upon completion. You can estimate the weight of your object using the Cura software: ultimaker.com

How quickly can I learn how to use the Cura software?

Watch this video to learn the basics. Go in depth with this guide.

Can the library re-size my object for me?

During the design process users should refine the exact dimensions before exporting as a .stl or .obj file. Resizing designs once you are at the library is not reliable as library staff’s ability to edit is limited and can introduce complications. We recommend designing your object in millimeters for best results.

I have never used a 3D printer. How can I quickly learn how to operate the printer?

We can teach you as you go. Here is the printer anatomy. You may want to read about common operations.

3D Design Online Tools and Help

There are a lot of freely available lessons and software online. Here are a few we recommend: 

Thingiverse - Find and download models other users have created and shared.

Tinkercad - The interactive lessons are perfect for the first time user! This free cloud based 3D modeling software will have you creating your own designs in just a few lessons.

123D Design - Autodesk's free CAD software for hobbyists and beginners seeking more sophistication than offered in Tinkercad.

FreeCAD - Advanced users will appreciate the power and depth of this software that can you download for free to your computer. Video tutorials

OpenSCAD - This is a favorite among advanced users. Download this software for free to your computer. See tutorials

3D Printing for Kids - http://3dinsider.com/3d-printing-for-kids/

MyMiniFactory - home to 50,000 free and paid 3D printable objects and more than 10,000 designers.

PrintABrick - Web catalogue of LEGO® parts for 3D printing.

OnShape - Use either the cloud based software or as an app for iOS or Android devices. More sophisticated design tools than Tinkercad. Video tutorials

MeshMixer - Download this free software to sculpt, edit, and mix objects. Video tutorials

NASA - Take a look at NASA's selection of .stl files you can download and use for printing. 

Simplify 3D - A great visual troubleshooting guide that covers all of the most common problems.