The Mobile Public Library has 3D printers available to patrons. These printers can be used to make three-dimensional objects using plastic filament. Printers are located at the Ben May Main Library and the West Regional Branch Library. The 3D printing service is available to all ages.

  • The library’s 3D printer may be used only for lawful purposes. Patrons will not be permitted to use the library’s 3D printers to create objects that are:
    • Prohibited by local, state or federal law.
    • Unsafe, harmful, dangerous, obscene or an immediate threat to the welfare of others.
    • In violation of another’s intellectual property rights, i.e. the printers will not be used to reproduce material that is subject to copyright, patent or trademark protection.
  • The library reserves the right to decline any 3D print request.
  • Patron’s library card status must be OK and personal information should be up to date.
  • The library will charge 10 cents for every gram of filament used. The amount of projected filament used will be determined prior to printing. Patrons will be expected to pay the charge upon pick up.
  • Patrons will have 7 days to retrieve items printed from library 3D printers. Objects that are not picked up within that time period will become property of the library.
  • Only designated library staff and volunteers will have hands-on access to the 3D printer.
  • Facilitation of the printing process by library staff does not constitute knowledge of any intended final use of the 3D printed product.

3D PRINTING SUBMISSION PROCEDURES

  • Patrons who request a 3D print will be contacted by an MPL staff member via email. Staff will provide the patron with a 3D Printing Request Form via email. Patrons will attach the completed form and the file (in .stl, or .obj, no larger than 25MB) to an email and send back to staff email. Staff will add the model to the printing queue.
  • Patrons are not required to stay for the duration of a print job. However, patrons are responsible for picking up 3D printed item within 7 days of notification that the item is complete.
  • Printing priority is based on a first-come, first served system. However, priority may be given to library programs.
  • Patrons may submit only one file at a time for printing. However, for objects requiring multiple parts, more than one file will be allowed. Patrons should be aware of a longer wait time for multiple file prints.
  • Submitted files will be readied for printing in MakerBot software or other authorized software. Designated library staff will view all files in MakerBot software or other authorized software before printing.
  • Items may be picked up at the Ben May Main Library Circulation Desk or the West Regional Library Circulation Desk. Wait time will vary based on number/size of items in print queue and other possible unforeseen issues with the 3D printer (part replacement, etc.)
  • Except in cases of mechanical failure, objects failing to fully print, errors in the print process, or other factors not in the control of the patron, patrons are expected to pay for completed objects. Patrons may not request a new print at no cost due to dissatisfaction with color, scale, quality, design, required support material, or other options pre-selected by the patron.