RESERVE, CREATE, ENJOY!
Make toys, household objects, office supplies, models and more.

How Does It Work?

Choose your design.
You can design your own basic object at Tinkercad.com, a free browser-based site. MakerBot and Blender (advanced) software are available on computers in the 3D printer area. MakerBot’s Thingiverse.com is one of several open platform sites where 3D printable items may be created, remixed and shared. Save your design on a flash drive.

Reserve the 3D printer.
Make the reservation online. Select the date and time, then search for a Space. Select 3D Printer. You may also stop by the Information Desk or call 608-758-6600. Please plan to complete your print at least thirty minutes prior to the end of your reserved time.

Pick up the power cord and instructions.
Check in at the Information Desk to pick up 3D printer power cord. Instruction sheets are available, including Printing to FlashForge Creator PRO and 3D Print Preview, Scaling and File Conversion.

Prepare file for printing.
Printing requires .X3G file(s) on an SD card with a model designed for ABS printing (see instruction sheets for more information). An SD card is available at the Information Desk for use with the 3D printer. Cards may also be purchased at the Checkout Desk. Computers are available in the 3D printer area with software for converting .STL files on a flash drive to .X3G files on an SD card.

Print your object.
You must stay with the printer during printing. Remove completed print jobs and power off only after the printer has cooled for several minutes.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost?
3D printing is FREE at your library!

What if I need more help?
The library offers 3D Design & Printer Meet-ups to provide information on the basics of 3D design and printing. Register online, call 758-6600 or visit the Information Desk for more information. Staff offer limited assistance with the 3D printer at other times.

How long will printing take?
You can get a print preview and time estimate in MakerBot on our computers in the 3D printing area.

Click Add File and select desired .STL file (see file conversion below). Select the object and click on Preview at the top of the page prior to exporting to print. A print preview window will pop up and a time estimate will be shown on the right side of the screen.

If the print time is acceptable, click close and proceed with exporting from MakerBot to prepare and save the file in .STL format for printing. If the print estimate is not acceptable, close the print preview window and scale (see Scaling below).

When the print begins from the SD card, the time estimate will be displayed on the 3D printer as a % complete. This is only shown following preheating and during printing.

Using MakerBot to estimate print time and to scale the object prior to exporting and printing is preferred.

How do I scale an object?
When the object is selected in MakerBot, choose the scale icon (large and small squares) on the left of the screen. Type in the desired % size and press Enter. Repeat or adjust as needed. Select Preview for a print time estimate.

How do I choose a color?
The MakerBot software we use on the computers in the 3D printer area will automatically default to print with the right extruder. Check for current spool color on the back of the 3D printer. If you would like to print using the left extruder, you can choose it after you Add File in MakerBot but before exporting when the code is prepared for printing.

• Select the object in MakerBot.
• Click on Object Information (an i inside a circle) on the left of the screen.
• Select right or left extruder.

How do I convert a file from my flash drive .STL to SD card .X3G using the computers in 3D printer area? 

• Insert flash drive (removable disk e)
• Insert SD card (removable disk j)
• Open MakerWare on desktop (MakerBot)
• Click Add File in MakerBot
• If a restricted message appears, click OK.
• Open .STL file, preview and scale as needed.
• Export print file at top of page.
• Save as .X3G file.
• Copy .X3G file from flash drive (e) to SD card (j)
• Eject.
• Place SD card in 3D printer and follow directions on separate page.

Online Resources 

TinkerCAD
Browser based program where you can design your own 3D models.

Thingiverse
Download 3D models that others have designed and shared for public use.

Instructables
Online resource featuring tutorials for a variety of projects.
Search for "Tinkercad" or "3D modeling" to find tutorials that guide you through the 3D modeling process.



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