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3D Printing

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is there a cost involved in using the 3D printers?

Yes. It costs $1.50 for every hour of printing, which covers the cost of the filament and the cost of running the printer. This price is in line with what other libraries are charging. This cost is payable by cash only when you come to pick up your print at the reference desk.


How do I submit a request?

You can submit a request by filling in the appropriate form.


Why do I have to submit a form?

The form is our way of ensuring that requests are handled fairly on a first-come, first-served basis. Each submitted form is time-stamped, allowing us to process them in the order which they arrive.


Are there any guidelines as to the use of the 3D printer?

Yes, there are guidelines for acceptable use. Staff have the right to refuse any requests that fall outside these parameters. 


I'm new to 3D printing. Does the library offer any help?

Absolutely! If you would like more assistance with 3D printing, the Cura or MakerBot software, or maximizing the success of your prints, you can fill out the form to request a one-on-one consultation.



Will you be providing any workshops on getting familiar with 3D printing?

At this point, we are not planning to launch any formal workshops, as we encourage users to play around with the software and create their own designs. We may do so in the future. 


What kind of software can I use to design my project?

It is recommended that you use Cura if you intend to print with the Ultimaker 2 (North Oshawa Library) or MakerBot Print if you intend to print on the MakerBot (DowntownLibrary). You can use other software programs (such as AutoCAD), so long as your object is saved in one of the file formats accepted by the printer and falls within the printable range. We recommend that you open your saved file in Cura/MakerBot to ensure that it will render properly and to ensure that the size of the object falls within the printable range.


How long will it take to print my job?

It depends on a few factors, namely:

  • how many people have submitted jobs before you (the service operates on a first come, first serve basis)
  • how large or complex your object is (larger or more detailed items take longer to print)
  • whether any resizing or altering of the print is required

Prior to the actual printing of your job, a library staff member will contact you with an estimate of costs and timing.


When/where can I pick up my object?

You can pick up your print job after a library staff member has contacted you. You will pick up and pay for your item at the reference desk of either the North Oshawa Library or Social Science and Education Library during regular reference desk hours.


Do you provide assistance with filing down sharp edges or cutting off extra plastic created by the base or any extra supports?

No, library staff do not assist with any modification of the job after it has been completed. You are responsible for removing any extra plastic from the base or supports. There is a filing kit with several tools that can be signed out at the circulation desk.


Why do I have to wait for a library staff member to mediate my request?

Since 3D printers can be complex pieces of technology, a library staff member is required to process requests and ensure that they are completed in a safe and appropriate manner. The library doesn't have a full-time staff member dedicated to the 3D printing service. Offering staff the ability to mediate requests allows for them to complete 3D printing requests in a manageable way. This also means that users don't have to take a mandatory orientation/class to use the 3D printer.


If you have a question that isn't answered here, please email