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3D Printing @ the Library

Computers & Technology  Book a Librarian  Digital Media Lab (DML) Reserve the Digital Media Lab  

The Library desires to offer community access to new and emerging technologies such as 3D printers to inspire a new interest in design and help the community to bring their ideas to life.  This policy establishes how and under what circumstances the public may use the Library's 3D printer.

3D Printing Policy

The Library’s 3D printer is available to the public to make three-dimensional objects in plastic using a design that is uploaded from a digital computer file.

  • The Library’s 3D printer may be used only for lawful purposes. The public will not be permitted to use the Library’s 3D printer to create material that is:Prohibited by local, state or federal law.
  • Unsafe, harmful, dangerous or poses 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. For example, the printers will not be used to reproduce material that is subject to copyright, patent or trademark protection
  • Use of the 3D printer is at the discretion of the Library’s staff. The Library reserves the right to deny use of the equipment.
  • Only Highland Park residents with a library card in good standing may submit designs for 3D printing.
  • The Library does not guarantee a successful print. Unless the print fails to finish, the cost of the completed print, regardless of quality, will still be charged.
  • Only designated library staff and volunteers will have hands-on access to the 3D printer.
  • The Library is not responsible for the subsequent safety of any item made with the 3D printer.

3D Printing Procedure

Only Highland Park Public Library cardholder may submit files for print.

Design creation:
  • The 3D printer can be used with basic knowledge of Computer Assisted Drawing (CAD). Creating a new design requires an advanced knowledge of 3D modeling software products.  Any 3D drafting software may be used to create a design as long as the file can be saved in .stl, .obj, or .3mf file format.
  • The Library has computers with CAD and Photoshop software that may be used to create a design.
  • Library members must design, scan, image, create or download their own models for use on the 3-D printer; library staff is available for assistance only.
  • Our printer can accommodate files up to 8” x 8” x 8”
  • Files will be printed as submitted unless a size change is requested
Submitting a design for printing:
  • Library members wanting to use the 3D printer shall bring their file (in .stl, .obj, or .thing file format and no larger than 25MB) to the Library during open hours on a flash drive or fill out an online 3D print submission form. Staff will add the model to the printing queue.
  • Each card holder is allowed 2 hours of free printing time per week although you may request up to 8 hours of print time for a fee
  • If demand is high, the Library reserves the right to schedule only one print per week per person even if the total print time is under 2 hours.
  • The Library cannot print objects that require more than 8 hours to complete.
  • Jobs that require multiple printing of components or longer print time may drop in queue position.
  • Prints will be made using environmentally friendly PolyLite PLA filament in the color the library has in stock at the time of printing. If you need a specific color, specialty filament, or want a print that exceeds two hours you may contact the Computers and Technology department (847-681-76032 or newmeddept@hplibrary.org) to discuss a special print request. The Library cannot guarantee specific colors will be available.
  • Staff review and prepare all project files, so please submit appropriate objects.  No guns, gun parts, weapons, or salacious objects.
  • Staff reserve the right to refuse to print any item.
The final product:
  • Please allow 1 - 2 weeks for your file to be printed
  • You will be notified by phone or email when your print is complete.
  • The library is not responsible for failed 3D prints, although we will do our best to assist in completing successful 3D prints
  • Please note that procedures governing the use of the Library’s 3D printers are subject to change.
Upcoming 3D Printing Classes
No events at this branch