Forge: 3D Printing

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3D Printing



The LulzBot Mini is a high performance desktop 3D printer that's perfect for home use, making prototypes, and doing projects. 3D printing can be used for all sorts of projects from just for fun to recreating lost parts to a broken machine.


3D Printing Policy

All patrons who have a valid library card on file are welcome to submit items for printing on the 3D printer. Those utilizing the Library’s 3D printer must do so for lawful purposes. Users must abide by all applicable laws (including copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code) and patent law (Title 35, U.S. Code)), as well as Ela Area Public Library District policies, while respecting the health and safety of the community. Library staff reserve the right to decline any print request for any reason.

Submit a 3D Print Job

Upload your files with the 3D Print Submission Form. A librarian or Forge Assistant will review your print job and format it for best results. We will email you once the print has completed. When you come to pick it up, we will weigh it and charge you according to our policy. We can accept files in the .STL or .OBJ file formats. Please allow 2-3 weeks for your item to be printed.

We may have to prioritize certain 3D print jobs over others. We will attempt to print a 3D object a maximum of three times. You can only submit one print job at a time per library card number. If your project contains multiple parts, you may want to submit them separately. 

Submit a 3D print request here.


The cost to print is $.10 per gram. You can use a print card or cash to pay for 3D print jobs.

3D printing price examples

3D Printing FAQs

Q: Who can submit 3D print jobs?
A: Any library users who have a valid library card on file may submit 3D print jobs.

Q: How do I submit 3D print jobs?
A: by filling out the form and uploading a file at . Click here to download detailed instructions on submitting a job.

Q: Do I have to use the website? Can I bring in my files on a flash drive?
A: You have to use the website so we don't lose track of any print jobs.

Q: What file types can be printed?
A: 3D models that are .STL or .OBJ file formats work with our LulzBot Mini. We can also accept .GCODE files if you create them using LulzBot Cura.

Q: What size objects can be printed?
A: Objects up to 5.5 x 5.5 x 5.7 inches or 145 x 145 x 150.7 millimeters in length x width x height.

Q: What is the tolerance of objects printed the 3D printer?
A: We have measured the tolerance of objects printed with our 3D printers to be approximately .3mm. 

Q: How long do 3D prints take?
A: It depends upon the size and complexity of the object. Many take 1-3 hours.

Q: When will my print be done?
A: We expect to print objects within 2-3 weeks. You will be emailed once your object is ready for pick up.

Q: Can I operate the 3D printer?
A: Due to safety concerns, only Library staff members can operate the 3D printer.

Q: What material are objects printed with?
A: We use non-toxic, biodegradable plastic filaments such as PLA (poly lactic acid).

Q: What colors are available? Can I print in multiple colors?
A: You can pick one color: red, orange, yellow, peak, green, dark green, dark blue, light blue, purple, white, natural, silver gray, and black (subject to availability - see picture below).

Q: How many 3D print jobs can I submit? A: You may have one pending 3D print job at a time. Multiple submissions will not be accepted.

Q: How much do 3D print jobs cost? A: $.10 per gram. We do not charge for disposable parts that help objects print.

Need some help with 3D printing and design? Download our handouts on:

♦ 3D design best practices for printing

How to download 3D models from Thingiverse

Scaling models in Tinkercad

Where to find 3D models

How to submit a 3D print job

Basic 3D Design classroom handout

Intermediate 3D Design classroom handout

Design the Willis Tower classroom handout

♦ Design the Hancock Building classroom handout

Finding and Creating 3D Objects

Thingiverse - Thingiverse is an online 3D printing and design community, and a great place to find thousands of free 3D objects that you can download and print.

TinkerCAD - Tinkercad is a fun, easy to use, web-based 3D design application. You don’t need any design experience - Tinkercad can be used by anyone.

AutoDesk 123D Design - AutoDesk 123D Design is a more powerful desktop 3D design application installed on each computer on the 2nd floor of the library.

Click here to download a list and description of other sources for downloading pre-made 3D models.

What is 3D Printing?

Click here for the 3D Hubs "definitive guide to additive manufacturing".


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