3D Printer Policy

CCPL’s 3D printer is available to Crittenden County residents who are cardholders in good standing for educational purposes. We strive to provide access to new technologies relevant to the community. 3D printing is an ever-growing, ever-changing technology that offers a wide range of possibilities and one that supports Common Core, STEAM learning, and ISTE Standards. 3D Printing, also called additive manufacturing, means making things layer by layer according to a 3D design file to make three-dimensional objects utilizing a Stereo Lithography (.STL) format computer file.

The following guidelines must be followed to use the library’s 3D printer.

The CCPL 3D printer may be used for lawful purposes only. The public will not be permitted to use the printer to create objects that fall into these categories:

  • Prohibited by state or federal law.
  • In violation of another person’s intellectual property rights. For example, the printer will not be used to reproduce material that is subject to copyright, patent or trademark protection.
  • Unsafe, harmful, dangerous, or poses an immediate threat to the well-being of others; for example, guns, knives, or other possible lethal weapons.
  • Obscene or otherwise inappropriate for the library environment.
  1. The Crittenden County Public Library reserves the right to refuse any 3D print request.
  2. Use of the 3D printer is at the discretion of designated library staff and must occur during regular library hours.
  3. Supervision of the use of the 3D printer by library staff does not constitute knowledge or acknowledgment of any unapparent final use of the 3D product and the library specifically disclaims any knowledge thereof.
  4. Only designated library staff will have hands-on access to the 3D printer. Patrons may use the printer if they display appropriate skills in the use of the equipment but with a library employee present at all times.
  5. Items printed from the library’s 3D printer that are not picked up within 7 days will become the property of the library. Items must be picked up by the individual who printed them.
  6. Acknowledgement by patrons utilizing the library’s 3D printer:
  • By submitting content or objects, the patron agrees to assume all responsibility for, and shall hold the library harmless in, all matters related to patented, trademarked, or copyrighted materials.
  • The Crittenden County Public Library is not responsible for any damage, loss, or security of data arising from the use of its computers or network, nor for the functionality or quality of content produced on the 3D printer.
  • Printing is available on a first-come, first-served basis and is coordinated by Crittenden County Public Library staff. Priority printing will be given to library programs and events.
  • The Library is not responsible for failed 3D prints, although we will do our best to assist in completing successful projects. If a model is found to be printing improperly within the first 15 minutes, Library staff will attempt to print the model a second time. After the second failed attempt, the print request will be placed on hold and the individual requesting the 3D print will be contacted. Should the individual requesting the 3D print approve a third attempt, he/she will be charged for the used materials from the prior failed attempts.
  • Printing designs are not guaranteed to come out as intended and can be effected by any number of variables, such as size, complexity and overhanging areas. The Library does not refund printing fees for completed items which do not come out as intended due to options selected by the individual requesting the 3D print, including but not limited to scale, quality, design, required support material, etc.

3D Printing Procedures

Submission of a 3D print file signifies that you have read and accepted the library’s 3D printer policy. All designs will be reviewed by library staff before printing. The library reserves the right to refuse any 3D print request. The library uses a MakerBot Replicator+ and 1.75mm PLA filament in a variety of colors. If you have any other questions, please call the library at (270)965-3354.

Where Do I Start?

  1. Check the programs and events calendar on the library website to find a beginner’s class on how to create files in Tinkercad and how to upload files to the MakerBot Replicator+.
  2. Create an .STL file and save it on a USB device or email the file to
  3. If you email your file, please add “3D Print” in the subject line. If you bring your USB to the library, you’ll be asked to complete a 3D Print Request Form.
  4. You will be notified of the estimated printing cost by email or phone call. Please allow 5 business days from submittal of the file to pick-up time.
  5. If you are a local educator and would like to visit the library with students to learn more about this service, please contact the library at (270)965-3354 to schedule a demonstration.

Who Can Submit .STL Files for Printing?

  1. Crittenden County Public Library patrons in good standing may bring in an .STL format 3D print file to the library and complete the 3D Print Request Form or email the print file to if the file is not too large for our email server.
  2. Please allow up to 5 business days for your item to be printed. You will be contacted when your item has been completed.
  3. During times of high demand, the library will schedule only one large print job per day. Several small print jobs may be completed the same day, depending on staff availability.

Where Can I Find an Online Design Program?

There are many web-based programs available. A great place to start is to create an account at Tinkercad is a free 3D design software that’s great for beginners age 13 and older. You can view lessons and projects and create your own designs. The library uses Tinkercad to teach 3D modeling in the library. Additional 3D software and 3D file sites can be found at these links.

Can I Operate the 3D Printer Myself?

Only designated library staff members may review and print items. Patrons may use the printer with a library staff member present but must demonstrate basic skills to be able to use the printer in the presence of a staff member.

How Much Will My Print Cost?

The estimated cost of each print will be provided when you submit your .STL print file. Printing cost will be calculated by multiplying the grams of PLA filament times $0.20 per gram plus a $1.00 printing fee. (Example: 10 grams x $0.20 = $2.00 plus $1.00 printing fee = $3.00) The patron must pay the amount due before the item can be claimed.

What Colors Can I Print?

The MakerBot Replicator + uses 1.75mm PLA plastic filament and will only print one color at a time. You may ask for available color choices when you submit your print request. The print request form provides available color choices. For a print with multiple parts, please specify the color for each part.

What Size Can I Print?

Designs created at home must be downloaded to a USB device and may not exceed 25MB. Only small .STL files can be emailed to the library because of email server limitations. Final object print size is limited to 11.2 inches tall by 6 inches wide by 6.1 inches deep to fit on the print bed of the MakerBot Replicator+. Library staff reserve the right to resize projects unless dimensions are specific in the request.