With a 3D printer for public use and Maker programs every month, your Library is the place to bring your ideas to life.
Make It @ Your Library
"Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!"
You can do it too! A five-year old came in to print the chairs and couch that he designed using Sketchup. As you can see, this furniture is perfect for his LEGOs. Dream big!
Using the 3D Printer
Thanks to a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, (administered in California by the State Librarian), the Library's 3D printer, a MakerBot Replicator 2, is currently free to use. Here are the steps to take.
- Design your 3D Object: Use a 3D modeling software to create your object. We like SketchUp Make, a free program that is also available from the computers in the Library's Patent & Trademark research area. Another simple 3D design application is Tinkercad, which is great for all ages and does not require any downloads.
- Schedule your 3D Printing Appointment:
Then you will be asked to send your .stl file or Thingiverse.com link to email@example.com. (The file extension should be .stl. Here's a plugin for exporting .stl from Sketchup.)
- Come in and print your object: You must be present at your 3D Printing appointment. Library Staff will teach you how to use the 3D Printer to get your object started. We do recommend you either stay for the length of your print, or check in with your print periodically.
- How long will my job take to print? It is sometimes difficult to estimate exact print times. Library staff will make an educated guess about the length of your job. We will only print objects take less than 4 hours. If you have an evening appointment, the Library will only be able to accommodate a 2-hour print job.
Take a look at our FAQ.
For inspiration and downloadable 3D files, visit thingiverse.com, Trimble 3D Warehouse, yeggi.com.
Should your library try 3D printing? Our flow chart can help you decide.
Questions? Call (408) 730-7300, option 6.