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3D Printing at Vernon Area Public Library: Home

How 3D Printing Works

It all starts with a CAD file called an .stl (STereoLithography). This is a picture with instructions on how to print a design in three dimensions. This file is loaded onto the library's printer software, which is connected to the library's Lulzbot 3D printer. When the Lulzbot is turned on, the printer bed (the surface onto which the filament is melted) and the nozzle heat to upward of 180 degrees Celsius. The PLA filament (a biodegradable formula consisting mostly of cornstarch) is fed through the nozzle, heated, and melted onto the printer bed to build a small 3D object layer by layer. Once the 3D print is complete and has cooled, staff removes your print and alerts you that it's ready for pickup.

Step-by-Step Instructions

1) Explore existing designs and download free .stl files at Thingiverse, an online community that creates and shares designs. 

-OR-

Create your own design with the web-based platform Tinkercad; sign up with your email address.

2) Download the print file to your computer.

3) Fill out the 3D Printing Request form at right.

4) Select "Choose File."

5) Search your downloads folder and select the file (either .stl or .zip).

You'll be contacted when your print is ready for pickup!

Guidelines

  • 3D printing is available only to Vernon Area Public Library cardholders.
  • Limit: 1 print a month per library card. 
  • Oversized or complex files may be downsized to fit the print area and/or the 2-hour time limit. 
  • If you're not sure how long your print will take and do not want it to be resized, please download the free Cura software and upload a print to check printing time. 
  • The Lulzbot Taz 6 has a printer surface area of 280 mm x 280 mm x 250 mm (11 in x 11 in x 9.8 in). 
  • Large .zip files will be held at the end of queue until time permits.
  • Specific color requests cannot be accommodated; sorry!
  • The library may refuse a print for any reason. 
  • The library is not responsible for failed 3D prints; we do our best to troubleshoot any issues.
  • Allow 1–2 weeks for your request to be processed.
  • You will be notified when your print is ready. Please pick up within 14 days at the Adult Services Desk.

 

Submit a Print

Fill out my online form.

Commercial 3D Printing Services

If you would like to print a design that exceeds the library's 3D printing capabilities (your object is larger than 11 in x 11 in x 9.8 in or will take longer than 2 hours to print), check with a commercial 3D printing service. Some services offer the option to print in materials other than PLA—other plastics, metals, or ceramics. Do a quick online search for 3D printing services or check out one of these:

Sculpteo
3D Hubs