What is 3D printing?
Start with this definitive guide where you’ll find everything you need to know about 3D printing, beginning with the very basics before diving deeper.
How much does it cost?
3D Printing is currently free at Denver Public Library!
What can be printed?
All printing is done with PLA, a bioplastic made of corn. It might get a little melty if you leave it on your car dashboard, and you may not want to use it to make shelving mounts for your prize kettlebell collection. It's possible to make your model a little bit stronger by making it's walls thicker or requesting more infill. Ask us about it and we'll try to help you out. But if the piece you're printing is really mission critical in some way, use it at your own risk.
What cannot be printed?
Due to demand and limited resources, we can't print any job that will take over two hours. If you have something you'd like to print that will take longer than that, we're happy to help you try to figure out how to break up your model into smaller jobs, scale your print, or point you to one of the many paid 3D printing services. We also will not print out any weapons. Outside of that, most things should be fine, but the Library retains the right to refuse any print request for any reason.
Who can operate the printer?
Only Library staff and trained volunteers will have hands-on access to the 3D printers.
How To Get Your Object Printed
Create a file
- You can download an object file from a site like Thingiverse, Bld3r or use some of the lab's free modeling software like Tinkercad, Blender or SketchUp to make your own designs.
- Export your object as a .stl file. Need help? Just ask!
- Note: We will print your file as is. If you need help optimizing or troubleshooting, just ask for help before submitting.
Submit a print request
- Come into the ideaLAB during our open hours (Here's links to the hours for Central's SM Energy ideaLAB, Hadley ideaLAB, and Montbello ideaLAB). Our staff and volunteers will help you make sure your model is ready for printing and ensure that it can be printed within our two hour limit. Save a copy of your project! The file you submit to us will be deleted upon being printed.
Collect your print
- You will be emailed when your print is complete, and you will have seven days to collect your print. PLEASE NOTE: "complete" doesn't always mean "successful." We'll still notify you when it's done even if it doesn't come out perfectly.
- Prints can be collected during regularly scheduled lab hours.