The Main Library Creative Studio is home to two MakerBot Sketch 3D printers available to print your 3D creations. Ready to get started? Read the printer specs and our 3D printing guidelines before you submit a 3D printing request.
About the MakerBot Sketch (specs)
A few things to know:
- The printers have an enclosed printing platform.
- PLA filament is used for all 3D print requests.
- PLA is non-toxic but must be sealed with a food-safe resin or sealant—such as ArtResin epoxy resin—to make it food safe.
- PLA has a melting point of 170 F, which means it will soften and deform in hot water. Hand-wash in cool water only.
3D printing guidelines
Our 3D printing service is an introduction to fused deposition modeling, or FDM, for hobby-level experiences. We will do our best to accommodate your requests and specifications, but we cannot guarantee a particular level of precision or customization.
Before you submit your request, please review the following guidelines
About your submission
- Print requests are free. You may submit two print requests per month (1 file per request, 100 MB file size limit). Need to reduce the size of your STL file? Use this STL file simplification tool to shrink the file size without losing too much detail on the model.
- Files should be in STL format (.stl). Our printers can accommodate prints up to 5.75 inches by 5.75 inches by 5.75 inches (or 146 millimeters by 146 millimeters by 146 millimeters).
- A maximum of four hours is allowed for each print job.
- We cannot accommodate requests for specific colors.
- Files will be printed as submitted, using rafts and breakaway auto-generated supports as needed. We will contact you if your item needs to be scaled down to fit the time limit.
- The library is not responsible for failed 3D prints, although we will do our best to assist in completing successful 3D prints. If you would like help with your 3D print design, you can request a Learning Lab appointment for a 30-minute, one-on-one session with a Learning Lab instructor.
Printing & pickup
- Please allow at least one week for your item to be printed. Items may take longer than one week depending on the number of requests in the queue.
- We will email you when your print is complete.
- Completed items can be picked up in the Creative Studio, located on the third floor of the Main Library. If the Creative Studio is not open at the moment, please visit the service desk on the third floor and a staff member will help you pick up your 3D print.
- Items will be kept on the pickup display for one week after we notify you they are ready.
Additional limits & restrictions
- The library reserves the right to refuse any 3D print request.
- The library’s 3D printer may not be used to create weapons or materials that:
- Are prohibited by local, state, or federal law.
- Are unsafe, harmful, dangerous, or that pose an immediate threat to the well-being of others.
- Are inappropriate for the library environment in accordance with library policies.
- Violate another person’s property rights. For example, the printer will not be used to reproduce objects or materials that are subject to copyright, patent, or trademark protection.
- The library will not be liable for functional failure of, or injuries or property damage caused by, objects or materials made through the use of our 3D printer. We strongly recommend that the 3D printer not be used to make objects that could prove harmful or that would result in significant cost to the user if they fail.
Submit your 3D printing request
Ready to print your design on the library’s 3D printers? Complete the form below:
Need help getting started? Looking for inspiration or tools? Explore these librarian-curated resources!
- Tinkercad: Free, web-based 3D design tool for beginner designers that includes lessons and short tutorials on available features. You will need a valid email address to sign up.
- SketchUp Free: Free, web-based 3D design tool that includes a variety of tools particularly useful for architectural designs.
- Blender: Free and open-source 3D computer graphics software toolset used for creating animated films, visual effects, art, 3D-printed models, motion graphics, interactive 3D applications, virtual reality, and video games.
- STL file simplification tool: Need to reduce the size of your STL file? Use this to shrink the file size without losing too much detail on the model.
Free STL files
- Thingiverse: Online community of 3D object designers. Search by keyword or browse collections and categories for design options. STL files can be downloaded even if you are not signed in with a free account.