3D Printing

More information regarding Bob Lucas Branch 3D Printing coming soon! The following information pertains only to the Main Library (600 E. Mariposa).


Main Library FabLab 3D Printing Hours*

  • Monday and Tuesday 10:00am - 8:45pm
  • Wednesday 12:00pm - 5:45pm
  • Thursday to Saturday 10:00am - 5:45pm

*Staff reserves the right to change these hours based on library needs


Main Library FabLab 3D Printing Guidelines

  1. 3D printing is available for free.
  2. Any library laptop (excludes chromebooks) can be used to access the MakerBot software.
  3. Print jobs must be completed 15 minutes BEFORE the library closes.
  4. If you need assistance with 3D printing, attend any of our FabLab open hours.
  5. If the printer you are using has an error, try removing and reloading the filament. If that doesn’t work, email fablab@altadenalibrary.org.

Any questions and concerns about the printers should be directed to fablab@altadenalibrary.org. Your comments are important to us, and we will do our best to respond to them in onebusiness day.


Remote Printing to Main Library Guidelines

  1. Remote 3D printing is available on Megatron when the FabLab is open excluding during open hours.
  2. Please email fablab@altadenalibrary.org when you start a print so we know who to contact if there is an issue.
  3. Staff cannot change the filament color.
  4. Print jobs must be completed 15 minutes BEFORE the library closes. For safety reasons, all printers will be turned off as part of our closing procedures.
  5. All prints will be removed from the printer in the morning. You have one week to pick up your print before it will be recycled.
 


FAQs - General Printing

Software and Models

What types of files can you use? Our printers work with .stl files and .obj files. They cannot print .mesh files.

What is support structure and why do I need it? Support structure is the printer’s way of adding material so that each part of the model is supported. Everything is built from the ground up, and models with too much overhang do not print correctly without it. The more support structure, the more fragile the model, and the more likely the printer is to jam.

MakerBot Print is requiring a username and password? You can create your own username and password to use both in the library and at home.

Where can I find models to print? Models can be found on a variety of websites. The library recommends www.thingiverse.com.

How can I make a model to print? Models can be made using any number of 3D modeling software. A simple web based program is www.tinkercad.com. Library computers have 123D loaded on them for your use. Blender is also a free 3D modeling software that you can download.

When I loaded my model, it was the too big or too small. Can I resize it? Yes, MakerBot Print has a scale button on the top righthand side. Select the model that you want to resize and scale by percentages or mm. Be sure the “Uniform Scaling” box is checked. Be aware that scaling a small model significantly larger causes imperfections in the model to be more pronounced and often causes the printer to error.

 

Filament

What materials can I use to print? Our 3D printers only work with PLA plastic.

What colors can I print? The library has a wide variety of colors available for you to choose from. They are available in the FabLab.

Can I print in more than one color? Our printers only print in one color at a time. You can stop the print, change the color, and restart the print if you desire.

 

Training

Can I get help printing? Yes, the library offers weekly open hours for teens 12+ and adults where you can get assistance with 3D printing.

My child is under 12, can they do 3D printing? Yes, we welcome you to come with your child during adult FabLab open hours. You can learn 3D printing together.

I’m not able to attend open hours. Can I still get training in using the 3D printers? Yes, please email fablab@altadenalibrary.org. We will try to find a staff member or volunteer to assist you.

 

Miscellaneous

Does it cost to print? At this time, 3D printing services are free to the public.     

How did the printers get their names? The 3D printers were purchased with grant money for the teen department. The Teen Advisory Board named the printers.

 

Troubleshooting

The Printer says the Smart Extruder has detached. What do I do? First, pause the print job. Unload the filament, load the filament, and restart your print. If that doesn’t solve the problem, email fablab@altadenalibrary.org and library staff will respond to your issue in one business day.

The printer gave me an error message. What do I do? Email fablab@altadenalibrary.org and library staff will respond to your issue in onebusiness day.

My completed print is very fragile, not smooth, or has strings hanging from it. These types of errors occur when the model was resized significantly larger, when it has too much support structure, or contained too much detail in too small of an area. Please review your model and make appropriate adjustments before trying again.

 

FAQs - Remote Printing

Can I print from home? Yes. You will need to download Makerbot Print to your computer and connect it to our printers. Remote printing is available on Megatron during specified hours. When you begin printing, please email fablab@atladenalibrary.org so that we know who to contact if it becomes necessary. Be aware that that staff cannot change the color in the printer, and your print job must be completed 15 minutes before the library closes.

I printed something from home. Where can I pick it up? Models are removed from the printers in the morning and locked in the cabinet. You can ask at the information desk or during open FabLab hours to get your print. Models will be held for oneweek before being recycled.

What do I need to connect my personal computer with the 3D printers? You will need to either bring your personal computer into the library to connect over WiFi, or you will need Megatron’s IP address (10.1.10.49) to print remotely.