WCPL uses MakerBot PLA filament for all of our 3D printing. Polylactic acid (PLA) filament is “a nontoxic resin made of sugar derived from starches found in foods, like potatoes, corn, grain, or even beets.” PLA filament is also compostable and recyclable in a #7 recycling center. (Source: MakerBot)
The procedure for using the Library’s 3D printer is as follows:
I. Design creation:
- Any 3D drafting software may be used to create a design as long as the file can be saved in .stl or .obj file format. We recommend Tinkercad or SketchUp Free which are free web-based programs.
- Tinkercad and SketchUp Free may be accessed from any computer with an internet connection.
- Digital designs also are available from various file-sharing databases such as Thingiverse, MyMiniFactory, and Pinshape.
II. Submitting a design for printing:
- Persons wanting to use the 3D printer can use the attached form (in .stl or .obj file format). 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 MakerBot Print or other authorized software. The Library will view all files in MakerBot Print or other authorized software before printing.
- It is sometimes difficult to estimate exact print times. Library staff will make an educated guess about the length of a job upon request.
- The Library has black, white, gray, clear (natural), blue, red, and yellow filament colors. If you have a color preference please state it when you submit your print file. Otherwise, the Library will make the color selection.
III. Please note that procedures governing the use of the Library’s 3D printers are subject to change.
The Library’s 3D printers are available to the public to make three-dimensional objects in plastic using a design that is uploaded from a digital computer file.
I. The Library charges a fee of $0.06 per gram of PLA filament used (including rafts and supports).
II. The Library’s 3D printers may be used only 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.
- 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 reproduce material that is subject to copyright, patent or trademark protection.
III. The Library reserves the right to refuse any 3D print request.
IV. Items printed from Library 3D printers that are not picked up within 7 days of completion will become property of the Library. Items must be picked up by the individual requesting the print.
V. Only designated Library staff and patrons supervised by designated staff may have direct, hands-on access to the 3D printer.
VI. Prints estimated to take over 7 hours to complete will be scaled down to accommodate library operations.
VII. In the event of a print failing to complete:
- If estimated print time is less than 3 hours staff will retry the print on the same day.
- If estimated print time is greater than 3 hours the print will be moved to the back of the queue.
- In the event of the print failing twice staff may request a redesigned file or refuse the print.
VIII. Prints will be left as-is upon completion; finishing work (such removal of excess material) will be left to the patron.