3D Printing @ GSPL 

Young man and woman with 3D printer.

Get certified and start printing! 

GSPL is now offering 3D printing as a service! This means that you can design a 3D model at home, send us the file and the specifications using our 3D Printing Submission Form, and we'll print and send the object your local branch for pickup!

If you are interested in using the GSPL's 3D printing service attend one of the library's Intro to 3D Printing Workshops where you'll learn more about 3D printing and get certified to start printing!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Please read the following commonly asked questions to learn more about this service.

Who can print at the library?

Printing is reserved for GSPL cardholders who have attended an Intro to 3D Printing workshop, completed a 3D Printer Review and are certified to print.

How do I get my object printed?

Please complete and submit the online print job request form. Staff will review the details of the job and provide you with an estimated cost. Once you approve, which acknowledges the estimated cost, we will print the object. Please note that there may be some additional information required and we may not be able to print as specified, but staff will contact you if the need arises. GSPL will contact you when the job is ready to be picked up at the branch of your choice. Wait times may vary. You will be required to pay for the object when you collect it.

Is there a charge for using the 3D printer?

There is a charge of $0.10 per gram, rounded to the nearest gram. We will provide you with an estimate for you to approve before proceeding with a print job. For example, if your final product weighs 30 grams, the cost is $3.00 ($0.10 x 30).

How many 3D printers does the library have?

GSPL currently has one 3D printer: a FlashForge Finder.

What kind of material is used for printing?

GSPL prints with PLA, a non-toxic, biodegradable plastic.

Note: 3D printed items printed at GSPL are not considered safe for use with food or drinks.

What digital file is acceptable for printing?

GSPL accepts STL, and OBJ files.

How long does 3D printing take?

Items can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 24 hours to print. Printing time depends on object size, but there are other factors. 

What is the maximum size of object I can have printed at the library?

The object or part thereof must fit within the confines of the build area in the printer. This varies and we will advise on an individual basis. Many times the restriction on size is a result of the time limit we have placed on print jobs, which is four (4) hours in total. We also limit users to 1 print per week (additional prints based on machine availability).

Are there any objects that I cannot print at the Library?

All print jobs are subject to staff approval and we reserve the right to deny any print job. GSPL will not print copyright-restricted designs, or anything that violates GSPL's Respect for Rights to Use the Library and Access to Information policy.

How colourful can my prints be?

We can only print in one colour per object, but we've got lots to choose from. Available colour options are listed on our 3D printing submission form.

I want to try the 3D Printer but I don't know where to start. Any recommendations?

If you're new to 3D design and want to create your own model the best starting place is with Tinkercad a web platform with free accounts to help you learn the basics of 3D modeling with preset shapes. If designing isn't your thing you can also find 3D models on many sites. Popular options include Thingiverse and Youmagine. A full list of design websites/software/apps and model website can be found below.
What if my job fails to print?
There will be occasions where the designs submitted are not appropriate for the kind of printing process employed by the machines we have at the library. There may also be flaws in the design which make it impossible to print successfully. We will do our best to identify these kinds of problems before attempting a print job. We may ask you for alterations to the design at any point. If the design will not produce a viable printed object, you will not be charged for the failed job, and we will retain the material used in the attempt.

Where To Create Models

Websites

TinkerCAD
Free online tool that allows you to create and download 3D models. Users are required to register with this site.

Software

Sketchup
SketchUp is 3D modeling software that's easy to learn and incredibly fun to use. Download SketchUp today for free and get started drawing in 3D.

Blender
Great for experienced designers, provides lots of design options, may be difficult for beginners to master

Apps

Variety of apps are available from Autodesk 123D

Where To Find Models

YouMagine
A large collection of online 3D models shared by YouMagine community members. The site is supported by Ultimaker.

Thingiverse
One of the largest collections of 3D models available online. Very user friendly. Most models on Thingiverse can be downloaded for free.

Yeggi
A 3D model search engine that searches multiple websites for 3D designs.

Pinshape
A large collection of online 3D models for downloaded. Some models must be purchased before they can be downloaded.

Libre3D
Offers a large collection of online 3D models for download. Most models can be downloaded for free.

Cults3D
Offers a large collection of online 3D models for download.

MyMiniFactory
The models available on this site are mostly designed by professionals. The site also allows for "requests" of 3D models.

Repables
Contains a collection of (primarily small and simple) 3D models available for download.

GrabCAD
Another large site with a number of free models for download. Users are required to register with this site.

Documents and Forms