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3D Printing

Renovation Related Service Disruptions Possible

The library is currently undergoing extensive renovations and some services and resources may be impacted. Please contact us at if you'd like to ensure that specific resources and services are available.

3D Printing Policy

The library’s 3D printer provides an opportunity for current AU faculty, staff, and students 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:

  1. Prohibited by local, state or federal law.
  2. 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.)
  3. Obscene or otherwise inappropriate for the Library environment.
  4. 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.

Submitting a File for 3D Printing

All files must be submitted online using our 3D printing request form.

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 company.

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 minute blocks.

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 not accepted.

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.

3D Printing Resources

3D Hubs: What is 3D Printing? The definitive guide to additive manufacturing
  • 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.

For inspiration and downloadable 3D files
  • search engine for 3D printable objects.
  • Need more information or help?
    A simple Google search for 3D Printing Resources will provide other helpful sites and tools. The key thing to remember is to plan ahead!

Questions related to the 3D printer service can be directed to the Technology Services Specialist, Victoria Witte,


Tech Services
Lower Level, Bender Library
Tech Services staff

Summer Hours
Mon - Thur: 9am - 6pm
Fri: 9am - 6pm
Sat: 11am - 6pm
Sun: 11am - 6pm


Blender open-source 3D modeling software.

Makerbot printers and support.

Meshmixer 3D sculpting CAD program, useful for preparing files for 3D printing. Get to know the "Inspector" tool.

SketchUp 3D Warehouse 3D models. community for sharing 3D models to print.

Tinkercad online CAD app. 

Google search = 3D Printing Resources

Quick Links

Borrowing Technology
AV Equipment
3D Printing
Poster Printing
Instruction and Outreach
Printing and Copyright


Course Reserves
Interlibrary Loan
Media Services
Tech Services