The Library's 3D Printer

How an Object is Printed

  1. Design what you want to print in a computer assisted design (CAD) application
  2. Download the design in STL format
  3. Open that file in the Cura Application
  4. Make any changes that are needed
  5. Start the print
  6. Sit back and watch the magic
A Rocktopus in the Cura app


How Can I Make Something? 

You can purchase an application like Sketchup ( or you can use a free web-based application like TinkerCad.

Can I Just Find Something to Print without Designing it? 

You certainly can! There are repositories of CAD files that others designed that you can download and print. Thingiverse is a popular one. Beware, though, not all files are free!

How long does it take to print a design? 

It depends on how big it is and out complex it is. The Rocktopus on the right took 45 minutes. We ask that patrons keep their print jobs to 3 hours and under.

(Here’s print-friendly version of the Printing Process/FAQs)

A Rocktopus Printed

When you have a file, and you’ve read the 3D Printing Policy, click the button on the right to make a reservation. Then email the file to technology librarian, Brad McKenna, at so he can make sure the file is ok. Patrons who are unfamiliar with the process will need to sit with him for a 15-minute orientation.


In keeping with our efforts to offer the community opportunities to learn about new and emerging technologies, the Wilmington Memorial Library has a 3D printer available with the following guidelines for its use.

The library’s 3D printer is a “Lulzbot” model that can make simple three dimensional objects in plastic using a design that is uploaded from a digital file.

The Library’s 3D printers may be used only for lawful purposes. The public will not be permitted to use the Library’s 3D printers to create material that is:

  • Prohibited by local, state or federal law.
  • Unsafe, harmful, dangerous or poses an immediate threat to the well-being of others. (Such use may violate the terms of use of the manufacturer.)
  • Obscene or otherwise inappropriate for the Library environment.
  • In violation of another’s intellectual property rights. For example, the printers will not be used to reproduce material that is subject to copyright, patent or trademark protection.

The Library reserves the right to refuse any 3D print request.

There is no charge for printing at this time. However, there may be a charge for printing more complex objects that take longer than two hours. An object that will take more than 2 hours to print needs to be preapproved by the Technology Librarian.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email