3D Pritnter3D Printing  Service

CKPL offers 3D printing as a service! You can design a 3D model at home, send us the file and the specifications via our web form and we'll print and send the object to your local branch for pickup. 

CKPL has a new Ultimaker 3 printer! This printer can print supports in a water-soluble PVA filament, resulting in better print results and smoother surfaces. You can dissolve these supports by placing the print in lukewarm water overnight (note that it may take several hours for PVA supports to fully dissolve).


Frequently Asked Questions

Who can print at the library? 

All Chatham-Kent Public Library (CKPL) cardholders. 

How do I get my object printed? 

Submit your file using our web form. Staff will review the details of the job and provide you with an estimated cost. Once you approve, and acknowledge the estimated cost, we will print the object. Please note that there may be some additional information required and we may not be able to print as specified, but staff will contact you if needed. CKPL will contact you when the job is ready to be picked up at the branch of your choice. Wait times may vary. You will be required to pay for the object when you collect it. 

Is there a charge for using the 3D printer? 

There is a charge of $1.00 per object plus an additional $0.10 per gram, rounded to the nearest gram. We will provide you with an estimate for you to approve before proceeding with a print job. For example, if your final product weighs 30 grams, the cost is $1.00 + $3.00 ($0.10 x 30) = $4.00. 

How many 3D printers does the library have? 

CKPL currently has four 3D printers: an Ultimaker 3, an Ultimaker 2+ and two Ultimaker 2.0 Go's. 

What kind of material is used for printing? 

CKPL prints primarily with PLA, a non-toxic, biodegradable plastic. Our Ultimaker 3 is a dual extrusion printer and we use PVA as a support material. PVA is a water soluble. Note: Please let us know if you intend to use your print with food or drink and we will print with our food safe PLA.

What digital file types are acceptable for printing? 

CKPL accepts STL files. 

How long does 3D printing take? 

Items can take anywhere from minutes to days to print. Printing time depends on object size, but there are other factors. 

What is the maximum size of object I can have printed at the library? 

The object or part thereof must fit within the confines of the build area in the printer. This varies and we will advise on an individual basis.

Are there any objects that I cannot print at the Library?

 All print jobs are subject to staff approval and we reserve the right to deny any print job. CKPL will not print copyright-restricted designs, or anything that violates CKPL’s Rules of Conduct. 

I want to try the 3D Printer but I don’t know where to start. Any recommendations?

If you’re new to 3D design and want to create your own model the best starting place is with Tinkercad, a web platform with free accounts to help you learn the basics of 3D modeling with pre-set shapes. If designing isn’t your thing you can also find 3D models on many sites popular options include Thingiverse and Youmagine.

What if my job fails to print? 

There will be occasions where the designs submitted are not appropriate for the kind of printing process employed by the machines we have at the library. There may also be flaws in the design which make it impossible to print successfully. We will do our best to identify these kinds of problems before attempting a print job. We may ask you for alterations to the design at any point. If the design will not produce a viable printed object, you will not be charged for the failed job, and we will retain the material used in the attempt.