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Emerging Technology

What is 3D Printing?

3D printing or additive manufacturing is a process where special printers assemble three-dimensional objects.

How does it work? 

A special 3D design file is sent to the printer. The printer reads the file and squeezes out melting plastic through a robotic tip which moves back and forth to create an object layer by layer. Use the library's 3D printer to create replacement parts for unique items, prototypes for class projects or entirely new objects. 

Getting Started

1. Create or Find a Design

3D printers work by reading special 3D design files in STL format. You can create your own design using 3D modeling programs or find your own. There are lots of resources to help you create or find a design.

Check out the Resources section below for a list of places where you can find or create your design. 

2. Submit Form and Your Design

Once your design is ready, complete the library's online form. Then you can either:

  • Link to your design in the form
  • Email your design file to
  • Submit your file in person on a USB drive to the Library Help Desk
PLEASE NOTE: We require at least 10 business days (M-F) for processing print requests.
Requests received after 12pm on Fridays will not be processed until the following Monday. 

3. Pick-up Your Design and Pay

Once you submit your design, library staff will send you a cost estimate. ‚ÄčEach member of the Centennial community has an allowance of 100 grams of free 3D printing per semester. Members can use their free allowance for one or more print request, just as long as the total weight of all requests does not exceed 100 grams. If the free 3D print request(s) exceeds 100 grams, then, users are responsible for paying $0.10 cents per gram for every gram or part of a gram outside the 100 grams allowance. A request is an online submission for a 3D print job and may include one or more files or objects. Members submitting a request must be aware that a 3D print request that is longer than 12 hours may be denied if it impacts on fair use, waiting times and printing demands.

Users must agree to the cost in order for printing to begin. Fees are subject to HST which includes model and support materials.  The cost will be charged to your library account. You can pay by cash, myCard, credit or debit when you pick up your print job.


Check out the resources below to find a designcreate a design, and learn more about the 3D printing world. 

Create a Design

Find a Design

Edit or Fix an STL File

Sometimes you find an STL file you would like to print but it needs to be edited or repaired. Use the free editors below to repair your file. Learn more about these editors from Sculpteo

See what our 3D printer can make!

For Educators

Interested in using 3D printing in your classroom, but not sure where to start? Contact your Librarian, Muyi Ogunleye ( for support and resources. 

Use 3D printing in the classroom to

  • Foster innovation & entrepreneurship
  • Discuss issues related to open source, copyright & maker culture
  • Prototype difficult ideas & concepts

Students can:

  • Gain skills in CAD & 3D design
  • Conceptualize complex ideas
  • Learn about knowledge-sharing, creative commons & copyright

Learn more about the Maker Movement

How Does 3D Printing Work?

Print the Legend Documentary

Watch on YouTube
*Full documentary available on Netflix

3D Printed Robotic Hand

Online Workshop

Want to learn more about 3D Designing and Printing? Please visit our Events and Workshops webpage to access the online 3D Designing and Printing workshop.

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