3D printing is a type of additive manufacturing. Material is laid down layer by layer to form a 3-dimentional object. Desktop 3D printers like the ones at the Library use a nozzle called an extruder to melt plastic and lay it down onto a print platform (like a super precise, computer-controlled hot glue gun!).
Belleville Public Library & John M. Parrott Art Gallery has a MakerBot Replicator+ 3D Printer.
The type of filament material our printer uses is polylactic acid (PLA). PLA is a bioplastic derived from corn (note: although considered biodegradable in industrial conditions, PLA should not go in your compost bin). Although we cannot customize filament colour, PLA can be lightly sanded and painted with acrylic paints.
Not sure what to print? Try searching the thousands of object files – everything from custom cookie cutters to smart phone stands to replacement parts – on websites like Thingiverse and YouMagine. If you’d like to design your own original object, we recommend trying the free Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software Tinkercad.
Ready to Print?
- Watch our 3D Printing Video.
- Design or download a 3D model.
- Use MakerBot CloudPrint slicing software to prepare your file for our printer. Export your model as a .MAKERBOT file. See our MakerBot CloudPrint instructions.
- Complete this form and upload your .MAKERBOT file.
- Library staff will print your object and contact you when it’s ready for pickup.
The cost to print is $0.10 per gram of PLA filament + HST. MakerBot CloudPrint slicing software provides an estimate of the filament required for your object.
Print projects must be no larger than 29.5 x 19.5 x 16.5cm (length x width x height) in size or 4 hours in print time. If you are printing a larger object, consider breaking the project into smaller components and print the project over multiple sessions.
***Limit of two 3D print jobs at one time per customer.
The library has resources to get you started:
- Hoopla – Borrow ebooks about 3D printing and design
- Our physical collection – Whether you are looking for instruction or project inspiration, we have a book for you.
Check out these YouTube videos:
- The 3D Printing Revolution. Three-dimensional printing promises new opportunities for more sustainable and local production. This short documentary shows how innovation can change the world of goods and introduces the diverse uses of 3D printing.
- Giant 3D-Printer Builds a Two-Story House in One Piece. Belgian company Kamp C constructed a 3D-printed two-story house!
- 3D Printing Food. Learn about the latest trends in the most delicious form of 3D printing – food. The PancakeBot? Yes, please.
- 3D Printer for the Visually-Impaired. The Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) Edmonton has 3D printer that is used to help visually-impaired people learn by producing things like raised maps and building layouts.
- How to 3D Print Human Tissue. A quick 5 minute TED-Ed video about the science of bioprinting, a type of 3D printing that uses bioink, a printable material that contains living cells.