3D Printing in the Library
The Saratoga Springs Public Library has an Ultimaker2 3D printer available to make three-dimensional objects in plastic using designs uploaded from a digital file.
How it Works?
- Fill out a 3D Print Request Form online.
- Attach a 3D design file in STL or OBJ format.
- A staff member will review your request and notify you of the cost of printing ($1 per hour). Maximum print time is 8 hours. The library may consider requests for longer print times, subject to availability and workload.
- Accept (or deny) the associated charge for the 3D print.
- After the job is completed you will be notified your print is ready for pickup at the Circulation Desk on the main floor of the library. You will pay for your print requests at the Circulation Desk when you pick up the item.
- Completed prints will be held for a maximum of 14 days. Items not retrieved will be discarded. Due to material and equipment costs, for items not retrieved, the associated charge will still be applied to your library account.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How much does it cost?
- The cost of 3D printing is $1 per hour, rounded up to the nearest half hour. We will notify you of the cost of printing before the start of printing in order to verify your acceptance.
- How long will it take?
- The library currently is accepting 3D print projects that take 8 hours or less to print. The library may accept reasonable requests for multiple prints subject to printer availability.
Once we receive payment, our goal is to complete printing within two (2) business days, but the library cannot guarantee completion within a specified period. Printing is available on a first come, first served basis. Priority may be given to library-specific usage and activities. The printer may be unavailable at times due to maintenance repair, heavy use, or scheduled programming.
- How do I create a design?
- Any 3D design software may be used to create a 3D model as long as the file can be exported to an STL or OBJ format. Tinkercad.com is a free online 3D design program with tutorials. You may also find and download designs for free from file-sharing databases such as Printables.com, Thingiverse.com, YouMagine.com.
- What is the quality of the 3D printed objects?
- 3D printed objects may have small bumps, holes, and rough edges. These can be cleaned up using fine sandpaper. Objects are printed from the bottom up. If a design has a large overhang or suspended parts, support material may be used. These additions can be removed by the patron. The library is not responsible for removing support materials added during printing.
The 3D printer has the capacity to print objects up to 8.5" wide by 8.5" deep by 8.0" high. Objects will be printed in one color (whatever is on the spool) using PLA filament.
Patrons will not be charged in cases of mechanical failure of the 3D printer. No refund will be given if an object does not print correctly due to design errors. Patrons will not receive a replacement print of the original due to dissatisfaction with color, scale, quality, design, or required support material.
- Who can request printing?
- Library card holders over 13 years of age may submit a 3D design for printing. Persons younger than 13 may have the 3D Print Request submitted by a parent or guardian.
- Policy on Use?
The library's 3D printer may be used only for lawful purposes. Users are not permitted to use the library's 3D printer to create material that is:
- Prohibited by local, state, or federal law.
- In violation of another's intellectual property rights. For example, the printer may not be used to reproduce material that is subject to copyright, patent, or trademark protection.
Objects which are not picked up within 7 days will be discarded or recycled. All files are subject to deletion from the library computer system once a print job has been completed.
- What 3D printer settings are being used?
- We have altered the default settings for our printer in order to lessen the number of failed prints and printer "down time". In order to estimate an approximate cost for your 3D model prints with our service, you can download and open our Cura Project into your own version of Cura (version 3 or newer). This will import our printer (Ultimaker 2), custom printer profile settings (sspl), and a test object (SSPL keychain) into your install. Be sure to switch things back if you have your own printer and configuration. By opening this project, however, you can get a more realistic estimate of print time and the related cost. To open: File -> Open -> Open File(s)... Select the downloaded project (3mf) file provided here. Slice the object to get an estimate of time (and set it back to your own settings once done).
Please note that the location of the settings, as described here, may change as newer versions of Cura are released.
As a precaution, it is advisable to back up your own settings prior to importing SSPL's.
- For questions about the 3D printer, contact the Computer Clerk Desk at 518-584-7860 ext. 216. For questions about completed prints on hold, contact the Circulation Desk at 518-584-7860 ext. 303.