3D Printing at the Montbello ideaLAB

The Montbello Branch Library ideaLAB has one 3D printer, a Lulzbot Mini.


How much does it cost?

3D Printing is currently free at Denver Public Library!

What can be printed?

Original designs - that is, models created or heavily modified by the customer submitting them - can be printed at the Montbello branch ideaLAB. Files must be in .STL format, and must be printable in under 2 hours. Want to learn to design 3D objects? Come into an open lab or set up a one-on-one appointment. Want to print a cool knick knack or fidget spinner that you downloaded? We would be happy to refer you to printing services online and in the community.  

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 its 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 is not an original design or 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. 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 do I get my job printed?

  1. Create a file
    • Use some of the lab's free modeling software like SketchUp, Tinkercad, Blender or Mineways 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.
  2. Submit a print request
    • Come into the ideaLAB during our open hours. 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.
  3. Collect your print
    • You will be emailed when your print is complete, and you will have seven days to collect your print. (Print jobs may take up to two weeks due to high demand.) 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.
    • Your prints will be available at the front desk of the library for two weeks.