The Coventry Public Library has a daVinci 1.0 AiO 3D Printer for use by the public. Patrons may either make an appointment to use the printer or submit files to be printed and then picked up at a later time. Before printing, we require that you read and sign our 3D printer policy agreement.
What is 3D Printing?
3D printing is the process of making a three-dimensional object from a digital file. The object is created by laying down successive layers of plastic filament on top of each other until the print is created.
You begin by creating a design on a computer or using a 3D Scanner to replicate an existing object. Software is then used to slice the designed object into hundreds of horizontal layers. The design is sent to the 3D printer, where hot plastic is passed through a super-heated nozzle and laid down layer by layer via a robotic arm. The plastic cools off within seconds, so the finished object can be used right away. For more information, visit www.3dprinting.com.
How do I create or find a design?
There are 3 methods for obtaining 3D designs for printing.
- Download: many designs can be found online, copyright-free, for personal use. A good website to check out is www.thingiverse.com
- Scan: You can take an object that already exists and scan or digitize it to obtain the right dimensions for a 3D replica. Note: our 3D printer has the capability to scan objects. However, the quality of printing an object this way varies greatly. There are also apps that enable you to take multiple photographs of an object to make a 3D file, such as 123D Catch.
- Make your own: Many people use computer-aided design (CAD) software to create their own objects for printing. Some commercial software is very sophisticated, but free online software such as Tinkercad and SKETCHUP can get you started.
How long does it take to print a design?
Longer than you think. If an object has many layers, it can take hours to print. Simpler designs take less time.
What if I just want my design printed?
If you have a design ready and just need it printed, you can submit your design .stl file to be printed. Before printing, you must read our 3D printing policy. We will give you an estimated cost for printing, which you will need to agree to pay before we print it. You may email the design to firstname.lastname@example.org or drop it off on a USB drive.
What if I need help with designing or troubleshooting my design?
Library staff is available for printing assistance only.
How much do you charge for a 3D print?
We charge 15 cents per meter of plastic. Before printing, the library will provide an estimated completed cost, which you must agree to before printing.
How large can my design be?
Files must be submitted as .stl files. We cannot print a file over 6 hours long. In regard to proportions, the design must be able to fit on the 3D Printer’s platform, so it must be under 7 inches high and 7 inches wide.