3D Printing

What is 3D printing?

3D printing, or additive manufacturing, is a process in which solid objects are created from various materials based on a 3D digital design. Rather than cutting away material, objects are created by printing layers of material that are combined to produce a physical object. Read the Policy on 3D Printing Service.

What is 3D printing used for?

3D printing has a wide variety of uses. Users can create anything from jewelry and puzzle pieces to architectural models and cookie cutters. Prints can range from artistic to functional, all based on the user’s creativity and needs.

How can I use the 3D printer to print my model?

MakerSpace Update

We are only accepting prints via the 3D printing Queue. Self-printing in the MakerSpace is currently unavailable

Using the 3D printer is easy. All you need is a 3D model saved or exported in an .STL (stereo lithography) file format. These files can be exported from most 3D design software packages. Additionally, you can find models in .STL format on websites like thingiverse.com. MakerSpace reservations are scheduled for a maximum of two hours; 3D prints determined to take longer than two hours should be sent to us via email.

To request a 3D print, please email tech.central@cpl.org or call 216-623-2980. or bring your file to TechCentral at the Main Library on a USB drive. To ensure that it gets to the correct place, please note the following procedures:

  1. Place “3D Print” in the subject or “re:” line.
  2. An attached .STL file or a link to the file.
  3. Color preference (see list of colors options below)
  4. A Cleveland Public or CLEVNET library card number. (You must have a valid card in good standing.)
  5. Any other relevant information pertaining to the print (i.e., number of copies or size requirements).

A staff member will review and place your file in our 3D printing queue. STL files can be exported from most 3D design software packages. Additionally, you can find models in .STL format on websites like thingiverse.com.

Expect one to two weeks for files on our print queue.

What objects can I print?

TechCentral will print anything for you as long as your object cannot be misconstrued as a weapon. TechCentral reserves the right to determine what is and is not considered a weapon.

Printing dimensions

Our printer beds allow us to print a maximum of 7.5 x 8.5 x 7.5 inches or 190.5 x 216 x 190.5mm.

Available colors

  • Red
  • Orange
  • Yellow
  • Green
  • Neon Green
  • Blue
  • Light Blue
  • Purple
  • Black
  • White
  • Pink
  • Gold
  • Grey/Silver
  • Natural
  • Brown

How much will it cost?

The cost for printing is $0.05 per gram of plastic used. We can give you an estimate prior to printing your model, and will let you know the exact price once it has finished. Most medium-sized or medium complexity models cost $5.00 or less. Remember, the more intricate or larger your model is, the more plastic it will use.

Classes in 3D Printing

Check out the following websites to learn more about how you can create or find 3D Printing designs