3D Printing

What is a 3D Printer?

A 3D printer is similar to a standard printer that puts ink on paper. But instead of ink, it utilizes a special plastic that it melts and builds on itself to create three dimensional items. 3D printers are great for creating small items and prototypes.

Getting Started with 3D Printing

Using a 3D printer can be easy. There are many websites available that will let you download specially created files that tells a 3D printer how to build your item.

Below are a number of the most popular sites:


If you know how to create your own 3D models, you can also create custom items utilizing the library’s 3D printer. All models need to be saved in .STL file format.

Using the Library’s 3D Printer

All you need to do to use the library’s 3D printer is to create or find the 3D model that you want and submit the .STL file to this webpage.

All objects to be printed must be smaller than 8”x5”x5” and take less than 5 hours to print. Submissions must also follow the 3D printer policy and can only be printed in white PLA plastic.

After submitting your file, a library staff member will review the file to see if it is suitable for printing. If it is, a staff member will contact you to review the cost of printing. There is a minimum charge of $0.50 per print plus cost of the filament. All printing costs will be due at time of pick up.

The library will contact you when the printed object is ready. The library cannot guarantee a specific time or day when a print will be ready.

3D Printer Policy

The Anderson Public Library makes 3D printers available for use by the public to support the ever-changing and constantly evolving technology needs of the community. 3D printing, also called additive manufacturing, means making things layer by layer according to a 3D design file. Anderson Public Library makes 3D printers available to members of the public to make three-dimensional objects in plastic using a design that is uploaded from a digital computer file.

The library’s 3D printers may be used only for lawful purposes. They may not be used to create weapons, or materials that:

  • Are prohibited by local, state, or federal law;
  • Are unsafe, harmful, dangerous, or which pose an immediate threat to the well-being of others;
  • Are inappropriate for the library environment and/or against the Code of Conduct; or
  • Violate another person’s property rights. For example, the printers will not be used to reproduce objects or materials that are subject to copyright, patent, or trademark protection.

All 3D printing requests must fulfill the library’s requirements:

  • The print file submitted must be sent in the required file format and object must be smaller than the maximum print size of the printer.
  • Submitter must be a library member with an account in good standing.
  • Only one print request per person will be accepted and printed at a time.
  • Submitter must pay for the cost of the material and wear on the printer. Cost will be determined after file is submitted. Submitter will be notified of cost and acknowledge approval before printing begins.
  • Items must take less than 5 hours to complete printing. Submitter will be notified if time is exceeded.
  • Submissions by one person must not exceed one request per single week.
  • Submitter must pick up previously printed item before submitting a new request.
  • Cost for printing will be due upon pick up of printed item.

Printing is available on a first-come, first-served basis and is coordinated by the Anderson Public Library staff. Priority printing will be given to library programs and events.

Library staff will review every object file before it is printed, and the library reserves the right to refuse any 3D print request. The Library is not responsible for failed 3D prints and cannot guarantee for printing accuracy or correctness.

The nature of 3D printing does not allow for member privacy. Printed objects may be displayed publicly during printing.

The printer will only print an object in one color plastic as provided by the Library. The printer will only use filament designated by the Library. Library staff reserves the right to resize projects unless dimensions are specific in the request.

Due to the amount of time it takes to print an object, the number of requests received and staff availability, the library will not guarantee that a print job will be ready on a specific day and may take an extended time to complete.

Anderson Public Library will not be liable for functional failures of or injuries or property damage caused by objects or materials made through the use of 3D printers. The Library strongly recommends that 3D printers not be used to make things that could prove harmful, or that would result in significant cost or injury to the user if they fail.