3D Printing

What is 3D Printing?

3D printing is a process in which a 3D model representing an object is "sliced" into layers and then printed one layer at a time on a special printer. These layers are fused together as they are printed to create the desired object.

There are many different types of material 3D printers can use. We use PLA (Polylactic Acid), it is generally considered the easiest material to print with and it is a biodegradable plastic.

Getting Started

You must attend a 3D printing certification session before you are allowed to print on your own. This session may take up to an hour. 

Where to find free 3D models online or how to get started with 3D design:

3D models uploaded by their creators that are free and legal for you to use:

Thingiverse and YouMagine are communities of makers that share their designs. Most designs are freely distributed under a Creative Commons License.

Yeggi is a search engine for both free and purchased 3D printable models. To search only for free models click Search Options to the right of the search box and choose free.

 

Design your own models:

  • Tinkercad is free to use but you must create an account.
  • Fusion 360 is a cloud based CAD (3D modeling) software for intermediate to advanced users. You can get a free 3-year education license at this link.
  • SketchUp Free is a free Web-based 3D modeler
  • Solidworks is a paid 3D modeling software for intermediate to advanced users.

Our Makerspace Printers

  • Makerbot Replicator 2
  • Prusa MK2S
  • Prusa MK3

3D Printing Policies

  1. The library reserves the right to refuse any print request.
  2. The library does not provide a 3D printing service that allows you to drop off a 3D printable file and pick up the print later. However, we do realize that some 3D prints will take a long time. Once you have started your print, and observed that the first few layers have printed successfully, you can fill out a form to identify your print and pick it up later.
  3. 3D printing is first come, first served. Prints can take a long time and a 3D printer my not be available when you show up. If you have a deadline, plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time to print the object.
  4. No weapons or parts of weapons may be printed. No illegal objects of any kind may be printed.
  5. Items that are inappropriate for a work or classroom environment may not be printed.
  6. Items must adhere to copyright restrictions.
  7. Print Failures - We will notify you if your model fails to print successfully. If you come back to try again, we suggest you consult with the maker space staff to determine what went wrong and how to correct it.
  8. You must be "certified" to use our 3D printer on your own. Sign up for a 3D printing certification session before planning a project.
  9. This space is intended for learning and prototyping, not production. Print jobs containing large numbers of identical objects will not be allowed.
  10. 3D filament has a shelf life so spools must be used relatively quickly. We do not change colors upon request.
  11. All 3D printed objects must be picked up within one week. After one week they are the property of the library and may be given away or disposed of.