Shrewsbury Public Library

3-D Printing

What is 3-D Printing?

3-D Printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is the process of creating a three-dimensional object from a digital model. 3-D Printers don't use regular printer ink, but special filaments and materials that are then heated up and drawn onto a hot plate, layer by layer, to create the design. That's where "additive" comes from; the printer is adding material bit by bit to create the finished product.

The library has two 3-D printers: an Ultimaker 3 and a brand-new Ultimaker S7. You can see our Ultimaker 3 in action in our lobby across from the Circulation desk on the main floor!

Take a look at some items our patrons have printed in the slideshow below. Want to print something? Keep scrolling for more details!

2 blue and 2 pink easter bunny puzzles and toys printed as gifts for a patron!
A 3-d printed miniature race car in silk blue with black tires sits on a white surface.

    To print with us:

    Use the SPL 3-D Print request form to submit a 3-D print request. We aim to have request printed within 2-3 weeks. The 3-D print team cannot guarantee turn-around time for 3-D print request with a print time of more than 10 hours.

    Looking for ideas? Scroll on down or check out our 3-D Printing Resources handout for links to databases and other information!


    3-D Printing Resources

    To find designs:

    • Thingiverse contains large online collection of 3-D models created by site users. The models on Thingiverse are free to download and mostly ready to print. Categories include Fashion, Hobby, Household, Tools, and more.
    • MyMiniFactory has a variety of 3-D models, both for free and for purchase. Primarily minis for tabletop gaming, but there are a variety of designs to discover! There are also forums to share your designs and connect to the larger 3-D Printing community.
    • Printables is another repository of free and for purchase 3-D models, and has clubs and design contests to help show off your designs!
    • Cults3d is another website with quite the collection of models for you to browse. Most models are free, but some are available for purchase. They also have themed "collections" for projects with a purpose!
    • Youmagine is an online collection of 3-D models run by Ultimaker, the manufacturer of the library’s 3-D printer. Thousands of free designs are available!

    To build your own design:

    • TinkerCAD is one of the most user-friendly 3-D modeling web browser tools out there. Manipulate pre-rendered 3-D shapes and create your own unique designs to print.
    • Womp is another 3-D modeling web browser tool that allow you o take pre-rendered shapes and merge them, as well as "gooping" them together to create more organic shapes.
    • SculptGL takes a different approach, where you start with a virtual ball of clay and you use tools to manipulate it into the desired shape.
    • MatterControl is a free, open-source 3-D modeling software for Mac, Windows, and Linux, that lets you design your parts from scratch or using existing projects. It has a bit of a learning curve, but can be used with any 3-D Printer and is great for long-term usage.

    For more information:

    • 3-D Printing Glossary from HP's Tech Takes is a short and sweet glossary of essential 3-D printing terms to help you find your footing in this new world. It also includes links to other helpful articles on a variety of related 3-D printing topics.
    • 3-D Printing Knowledge Base explains what 3-D printing is all about through a collection of articles and other resources. Learn about some of the most exciting and innovative applications of this emerging technology, and get some tips and inspiration for your own 3-D modeling & printing projects!

    3-D Printing Documentation

    5 3-D printed skulls, from largest to smallest. The first two are using rainbow silk PLA filament, the third using black PLA filament, and the last two tiny skulls using silk teal and hot pink PLA filaments.
    • Library Hours:

      Library Hours:

      Monday: 9:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
      Tuesday: 9:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
      Wednesday: 9:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
      Thursday: 9:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m
      Friday: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
      Saturday: 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
      Sunday: October through May
      1:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.

      Please see our Hours and Closings Page for more information.

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    • Contact Us:

      Contact Us:

      Tel: 508-841-8609
      View our Staff Directory

    • Find us:

      Find Us:

      Shrewsbury Public Library
      609 Main Street
      Shrewsbury, MA 01545