3D printing

banner image showing 3D MakerBot printers at the Burlington Public Library.

There is no access to the 3D printers at Alton and Central branches for the foreseeable future due to pandemic-related closures and service limitations.

3D printing is the process of making a physical object from a digital file using layers of melted plastic. We have a MakerBot Replicator Z18 at our Central and Alton branches. We use PLA (polylactic acid) filament, a biodegradable corn-based plastic ideal for use with MakerBot printers.

Q: What printing software does the MakerBot use?

We use MakerBot Print.

Q: What file formats are compatible with the MakerBot?

The format must be either .stl, .obj, or .thing.

Q: How can I use the library’s 3D printer?

To get started, you must:

  • Have a Burlington Public Library card
  • Be over age 14 or accompanied by parent/caregiver
  • Attend a FREE 3D Printer Certification class
  • Read and sign our terms of use and waiver form

Q: What can I print?

The possibilities are endless! Check out the many pre-designed objects available for 3D printing on Thingiverse. Once you’re ready to create and print your own 3D designs, we recommend and offer free classes on Tinkercad.

Q: When can I print?

The printer is available at Central and Alton branches on a first-come, first-served basis from the time the library opens. All print jobs must be completed 30 minutes before the library closes.

Q: Is there a cost to using the 3D printer?

Yes, the cost of printing is $1 plus $1/every 20 minutes of use.

Q: What colours can I print in?

The library has 10 different colours of plastic filament available for use with the 3D printer: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, grey, beige, white, black. We are unable to accommodate customer requests for specific colours. Please call the branch before your visit to find out the Colour of the Day.

Q: What is the process for 3D printing an object at the library?

When you wish to use the 3D printer:

  1. Identify yourself to staff as someone who wants to use the printer. 
  2. Be informed by staff about printer basics, for example: cost and the colour of the day.
  3. Open file in MakerBot Print on the 3D printer PC and edit settings. 
  4. Check the Print Preview for time. Staff will calculate price and approve print time.
  5. Adjust file as needed to reach desired print time and cost. 
  6. Pay library staff.
  7. Press PRINT from MakerBot Desktop menu. 

Learn about the MakerBot Replicator Z18 3D printer

About MakerBot Print

Get ready-to-print 3D designs from Thingiverse

FREE online classes on Tinkercad

FREE 3D printing training & tutorials on Lynda.com