The library’s 3D printer provides an opportunity for users
to further their learning experience as the technology grows. In order to best
serve the American University community, the library has established a 3D
printing policy that all users must adhere to.
The 3D printer at the AU Library may be used only for lawful
purposes. No one will be permitted to use the library’s 3D printer to create
material that is:
Prohibited by local, state or federal law.
Unsafe, harmful, dangerous or poses an immediate threat
Obscene or otherwise inappropriate for the Library
In violation of another’s intellectual property rights.
For example, the printer will not be used to reproduce material subject to
copyright, patent or trademark protection.
Prints can take anywhere from a few hours to multiple days,
and a printing queue may form. Please plan ahead. Once a submitted file is
approved, we ask for at least 14 days to print your object.
Only one job request may be submitted at a time. Your object
must be picked up and paid for before you can submit another print job. If you
submit multiple job requests, they will be deleted from our queue.
Please be aware that our printers are hobbyist machines. If
you need you object to be exact, please consider using a commercial printing
Print requests will be reviewed to ensure that they comply
with our 3D printing policy and are suitable for production. Within seven days
of submission, staff will email patrons regarding their print requests. If your
print is approved, it will then be added to our print queue.
3D printing is a new resource and an emerging technology,
and prints may fail for a variety of reasons. Our staff will work to make your
print successful, but we cannot guarantee your file will print. Failed prints
happen for a variety of reasons and we reserve the right to stop a print job
if, in our judgment, the print is not going to be successful.
If there is a problem with the design or we cannot print
your object, you will be contacted and asked to schedule a 3D printing
consultation. All consultations are held in person and scheduled in thirty
Pricing and Picking Up Your Object
All 3D prints are charged a base printing fee of $4 plus
$0.05 per gram of material, which includes any raft or support structures. We
accept cash, credit, or EagleBucks. American University Print/Copy funds are
Prints are delivered as is. You are responsible for removing
rafts and supports from object.
Objects must be paid for at time of pick up. You will be
notified when your object is ready for pick up. Any objects not picked up
within 14 days of notification will become property of the AU Library.
One of our favorite resources is provided by 3D Hubs. This in-depth 3D printing guide explains how 3D printing works. The guide covers the history of 3D printing, and compares different 3D printing technologies and materials.
There are tips for getting started 3D printing and can guide you through the process, whether your designing your first model or are finding a design online.
Design your 3D Object
Use a 3D modeling software to create your object. We recommend Tinkercad when getting started. Tinkercad is a simple web-based CAD program that uses shapes and holes to build objects.