3D Printer Usage Policies
The Library’s 3D printers are available to the public to create three-dimensional objects in plastic using a design that is uploaded from a computer file.
- The Library’s 3D printers may only be used for lawful purposes. The public will not be permitted to use the Library’s 3D printers to create material that is:
- Prohibited by local, state or federal law.
- Unsafe, harmful, dangerous or poses an immediate threat to the well-being of others.
- Obscene or otherwise inappropriate for the Library environment.
- In violation of another’s intellectual property rights. For example, the printers will not be used to mass reproduce material that is subject to copyright, patent or trademark protection. It is the responsibility of the patron to make sure their design does not violate any copyright laws.
- The Library reserves the right to refuse any 3D print request.
- 3D Print Request Form [PDF]
The procedure for printing from the Library’s 3D printers is as follows:
- Design creation:
- The 3D printer can be used with basic knowledge of Computer Aided Design (CAD). Creating a new design requires knowledge of 3D modeling software products. Video tutorials that accompany CAD programs may be of assistance.
- Any 3D drafting software may be used to create a design as long as the file can be saved in .stl file format.
- The Library has 3D design and modeling software installed on its computers that may be used to create a design.
- Digital designs are also available from various file-sharing databases such as Thingiverse.com.
- Submitting a design for printing:
- Persons wanting to use the 3D printer shall provide a .stl formatted file on a labeled USB drive. File size should not exceed 250MB.
- Staff will add the model to the printing queue. If there is high demand, the Library will schedule only one print per day per person or entity.
- The files will be readied for printing in the printer’s software or other authorized software. The Library will review all files with the customer prior to printing.
- Items may be picked up at the Library during regular hours. It is sometimes difficult to estimate exact print times. Library staff will make an educated guess about the length of a job upon request.
Pricing – Printed items are priced based upon finished weight. The current price is $0.25/gram.
Please note that procedures governing the use of the Library’s 3D printers are subject to change.
The library cannot guarantee model quality, stability, or confidentiality of designs.
Learn the fundamentals of 3D printing with guided coursework with your library card at lynda.com. (PGCMLS’s tech course platform that includes 3D printing and CAD design)
There are many free designs online at thingiverse.com.
If you're interested in learning to design your own models, these programs are good, free options:
- 123D Design
3D printer is available at Fairmount Heights.