3D PRINTING IN THE TECH CENTER
WHAT IS IT?
Library users have access to our Prusa i3 MK3S+, an open-source, award-winning printer. Prusa was named the best 3D printer by MAKE: magazine and has received awards from WireCutter, Tom's Hardware, TechRadar, Forbes, PC Mag, and more.
The printer creates physical objects from files by melting special plastic, called filament, and laying one layer on top of another until the object is complete.
WHAT CAN I PRINT?
With a 3D printer, you can make replacement parts, jewelry, specialized organizers, toys, and so much more. Take a look at our gallery to see some of the projects created at the library.
FILE TYPES & WHERE TO FIND THEM
3D file extensions are .stl and .obj. You will find that designers freely share their files on the internet. The most popular file-sharing site is thingiverse.com. Anyone can share to this site so it is important to pay attention to the quality of a file before attempting a print. Some organizations offer 3D files specific to their work. For example, NASA has a catalog of files of their spacecraft and many museums have begun scanning artwork and sharing the files.
HOW TO PRINT YOUR FILE
You have the option of printing the file yourself or having a tech center staff member print it for you. If you choose to have hands-on experience with the printer you will be required to complete the certification process prior to using the printer. If you would like a staff member to handle the print, please fill out the request form below and we will reach out when it is complete.
Files must be sliced before they can be loaded into the printer. There are a number of free slicer programs but we use PrusaSlicer. This software is created by the same team that made our printer and is free to download at home.
Prepared files can be uploaded to the printer on an SD card.
The library no longer charges for the cost of the filament but we do accept donations. Donations are used to purchase more materials and pay for routine maintenance of the machine.