3D Printing at the Library


The library offers 3D printing and Laser Engraving services to the public. Just like with our normal paper printer, you bring in what you’d like to print, and we’ll help you get it printed. The only difference is that 3D printing can take days to complete.


Where can I find files to print?

There are a lot of different online resources to find 3D printer files, these are usually in STL format.

  • Tinkercad is a free website where you can learn 3D modeling and create your own objects to print. This is very basic though. It’s good for children or beginners to learn how to make 3D models.
  • Thingiverse is full of user-created digital designs and are free and open-source. This is the biggest, free resource for STL files.
  • Grabcad has free and paid STLs, mostly for engineering and architecture.
  • MyMiniFactory includes minis an models for gamers. These are not all free, but they are high quality.
  • Cults3D is a digital marketplace for 3D models and STL’s. Most of the things on this site are not free.
  • All3DP is a digital magazine/blog with numerous of articles and content relating to 3D printing, as well as more links to other good resources.
  • PinShape includes free and paid files created by users.

How much does it cost?

For 3D printing, two things factor into the cost: The finished weight of the print and the time it takes to create it. it costs 10 cents per gram of printed weight (including any supports that were printed) plus $1/hour, rounded to the nearest half hour.


How do I get something printed?

  1. Design or Create a file to print. Send the file (STL, OBJ, or THING format) to [email protected]
  2. Librarians will review your file to ensure they are good quality for printing and to discuss the details with you and to prepare the file for printing using Snapmaker’s Luban software to turn your 3D model into a physical object.
  3. Schedule a printing appointment if your design is approved for printing. The library will schedule only one print per day. You do not have to be present on the day of your print, but you can watch if you like.
  4. Pay for your object! You may pick up your item within 14 days of the day of your printing appointment. Item will be weighed as is (including supports). The Librarians will estimate the cost before the print, but the estimate may change. If you do not come to pick up your print within 14 days, your library card will be charged, and the library will become the owner of the object.

Quality

3D printed objects may have small bumps, holes, and/or rough edges. These can be cleaned up using fine sand paper or a nail file. Objects are printed from the bottom up, so if a design has large overhangs or suspended parts, support materials will be used. These are easily removed by the patron. The library will not be responsible for removing supports.


Unsuccessful Prints

Because of the inherent limitations with equipment, the Green Forest Library does not guarantee that your 3D model will print successfully. If a print fails due to library staff error or hardware failure, we will attempt to reprint the object. The library may refuse to reprint the object after 2 unsuccessful attempts.

The library may refuse to print 3D models that clearly contain errors, or if the library staff believe the object is beyond the capabilities of the library’s equipment to create a good-quality object.

The cost of failed prints may still be charged to the patron.


Download the Full 3D printing Policy here.