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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. ​Items cost 10 cents per gram. Jobs are printed on a first-come, first-served basis and pick-up dates cannot be guaranteed. Library staff will email you when your print job is ready. 


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

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