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3D Printing at the Library

Cobb County Public Library has five MakerBot Replicator 5G 3D printers available for public use located at SwitzerMountain View, North CobbSouth Cobb, and West Cobb libraries.

FAQs

How much does it cost?
3D Printing is currently 15 cents per gram of filament used in the printing process, with a minimum charge of $1.

What can be printed?
All printing is done with PLA, a bioplastic made of corn. Due to the properties of this material, it is not recommended to print anything that needs to be heat-resistant or very strong.  However, it is possible to increase a model’s strength by making its walls thicker or using more infill. Ask library staff for assistance in making these modifications.

What cannot be printed?

You cannot create material that is:

  • Prohibited by local, state or federal law.
  • Unsafe, harmful, dangerous or an immediate threat to the well-being of others. Such use may violate the terms of use of the manufacturer.
  • Obscene or otherwise inappropriate for the Library environment.
  • In violation of another’s intellectual property rights.

Depending on demand, length of time required for printing, and available resources, the Library may limit the number of print jobs per day per person or entity. If a print job is estimated to take a significant amount of time to print, library staff are happy to help break up the model into smaller jobs, scale down the print job, or refer designers to a paid 3D printing service. The library retains the right to refuse any print request for any reason.

Who can operate the printer?
Only library staff have hands-on access to the 3D printers.

To view the complete 3D Printing Policy, click here.

How to get an Object Printed

Create a file

  • Download an object file from a site like Thingiverse or Cubehero or use free modeling software like TinkercadSketchUpBlender, and Mineways to create designs.
  • Export your object file with an .stl or .obj extension.
  • Need help with the conversion? Just bring your file on a flash drive to one of our friendly librarians for assistance!
  • PLEASE NOTE: The library will print your file as is. If you need help optimizing or troubleshooting, just ask for help before submitting.

Submit a print request

  • Save your 3D printing file on a USB flash drive.
  • Come into the library during open hours to submit your flash drive and 3D Print Request Form to library staff. Staff will ensure the model is ready for printing before you leave. It is recommended that you create a backup of the file before submitting your flash drive.
  • You will have to indicate on the request form that you have read and understand the Library’s 3D Printing Policy.

Collect your print

  • You will be notified when your print job is ready by the contact method included on the request form.
  • You have 10 days to collect the object and your USB flash drive from the library during open hours. After 10 days, both items become property of the library. 
  • PLEASE NOTE: Print jobs that are “complete” may not always be “successful.” The library will still notify you when your print is done even if it does not come out perfectly. Re-prints will only be available in the event of machine malfunction.  Failed prints due to errors within the 3D model will still be charged for materials used.
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man and woman sitting with a 3D printer and various 3D printed objects
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mother, child, and woman watching a 3D print