3D Printing

3D Printing

We are looking at alternative ways to provide access to 3-D printing. We are moving to a more self-service model and because we need to prepare for this change, it is not likely that the new service will be available until after July.

KFPL 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 it and send the object your local branch for pickup. Please read KFPL's 3D Printing Policy and the following FAQ to learn more about this service.

How many printers does the library have?

We currently have two Makerbot printers: the Replicator (5th Generation) and the Rep 2, and two Ultimaker Printers: the Ultimaker 2 Extended and the Ultimaker 2 Go. We do not use all of these printers to fulfil print job orders at this time however as some are reserved for other purposes including digital literacy promotion and community engagement. 

What material does the printer work with?

Our printers "print" (extrude) PLA plastic, a corn-based product. We usually have several colours of this plastic available.

What digital file is acceptable for printing?

Currently we are accepting .stl files and/or links to digital files on Thingiverse or other locations (e.g., Dropbox). There are many different digital files that are used to store a 3D mesh (the 3D design which is ready to print), but our preferred file is an .stl file.

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 nine (9) hours in total.

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. We will not print keys, weapon components or copyright-restricted designs, or anything that isn’t in keeping with our code of conduct, for example.

Who can print at the library?

Printing is reserved for those persons with a valid library membership card. It is not dependent on borrowing permissions. Children and teens 15 years old and under will need parental permission to proceed with a print job.

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 a cost estimate. Once you provide your approval, 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, staff will contact you about this if the need arises. Staff will contact you when the job is ready to be picked up at the branch of your choice. Wait times may vary, the current average for a completed job is 10 days. You will be required to pay for the object when you collect it. 

How much does it cost to print an object?

There is a charge of $2.00 per object plus an additional $0.10 per gram, rounded to the nearest gram. We will provide you with an estimate for your approval before proceeding with a print job. All print jobs are subject to HST. 

Can I see my object being printed?

We may take photos or video of any print job, and these may be posted on our website or social media pages or sites (Facebook, Pinterest, etc.). You can always visit us at a 3D Printer Meet & Greet event to see objects being printed, please check our events calendar for details. 

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.

I have heard that 3D printing is wasteful.  What are you doing about this?

It is true that in the process of printing objects in any material there can be extraneous materials and waste products (in our case, PLA plastic) as a result of the printing process. We are retaining all of this material for reuse after an in-house recycling procedure which we hope to employ in the near future.

Where will my object be printed?

We currently house the printers at the library's administrative offices in a non-public location. But this arrangement is subject to change without notice. 

I am not sure what to print.  Any suggestions?

If you are interested in a ready-made design, we recommend checking out the collection of free designs on a website such as Thingiverse or YouMagine. You can browse objects and designs by category, by collection or by using searches. If you are interested in designing your own object, a good place to start is with Lynda.com (free access is available through kfpl.ca with your library card number and PIN). You can also start your learning about 3D design with one of the many titles available through Safari Books Online and OverDrive. All of these learning resources are available via our website and are free to you with a valid library membership.