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3D Printing

A basic guide to 3D printing at W&M Libraries

3D printers

William & Mary Libraries are pleased to offer 3D printers in Swem Library for use by all current students, staff, and faculty.  

Please take the time to read through this guide and associated information to familiarize yourself with the available printers, policies, and procedures.

Using a 3D printer is a fun, engaging, and creative experience. However, 3D printers and successful prints do require a small amount of background knowledge for optimal performance.

To ensure that our printers and patrons stay happy, W&M libraries require that all patrons who wish to schedule print time or check out a printer attend a short training session and sign a user agreement. 

Swem Library will conduct 30 minute training sessions every Thursday in February starting Feb. 9. Stop by room #139 between 9:30am and 3:00pm to take part!

STEP 1: Find or Create a File to Print

Where do you find files to print? 

Visit Thingiverse.com to search the numerous collections, objects, and open licensed project files available for download.  These files can be manipulated in Cura and Makerbot Desktop. 

Additionally, you can create you own 3D printing files using the resources listed on the Resources tab or through other software of your choosing.  Just make sure that your files are configured for the correct printer and your print length is a manageable time (able to be completed during available booked time).

STEP 2: Format and Save the File

Prior to booking a 3D printing session, you will need to download, install and familiarize yourself with the software used to generate print files, and save your print to the appropriate external memory device.

  • The Ultimaker 2+ and Ultimaker 2 Go print files manipulated in their free software, Cura. Download Cura HERE. Be sure to save your Ultimaker print file on an SD Card.
     
  • The Makerbot Replicator+ uses Makerbot Print software. Download Makerbot Print HERE. Be sure to save your makerbot print file to a USB drive

STEP 3: Schedule a Print Time

Once you are trained and have designed a file to print, you will need to schedule a time to use the printers in Swem Library Room 139. 

Use the printer scheduler to schedule a printing session on the printer you wish to use and for which you have designed a file to print. To ensure that your printer is ready, the library requires 24 hour advance notice of when you would like to print your file. This gives our staff time to check the printer before you arrive.

Please remember the following policies: 

  1. You must schedule a printer and be approved in advance of printing
  2. Please schedule your print time for the entire estimated duration of the print
  3. You MUST remain with the printers for the ENTIRE DURATION of the print