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Makerspace : 3D Printing

3D Printing at the Library Makerspace

What is 3D Printing? 

3D printing is the process of creating solid physical objects from digital 3D files.  3D printing works by slicing the digital object into several horizontal layers. This typically works by laying down layers of melted plastic that cool before the next layer is laid down on top, slowly building up the shape.

The printing nozzle moves back and forth, and up and down - think along the lines of an arcade claw machine. The plastic “filament” is a spool of plastic thread slowly feeding in through a pre-heated nozzle, cooling almost instantly. This process allows you to build up complex shapes, but has certain limitations like bridging long gaps or printing overhangs.

3D printing has infinite uses but is commonly used by hobbyists, for education, making figurines and toys, making medical devices, the automotive, robotics and aerospace industry.  Digital 3D objects are normally .stl file format that you can download, or make yourself.

If you are new to 3D Printing, why not sign-up to one of our workshops, or contact us to see our 3D printers in action.

To submit files for 3D printing please complete all of the following steps:

Please note that 3D prints will be dealt with in order of receipt and that your file will be printed as is, the makerspace team will not modify your print unless 'supports' are required - you will need to remove these supports post print.

  • save your completed design as an .stl file to your One Drive or if you're ready to slice, send us your GCODE file.
  • click on the '3D Print Submissions' button below and click 'New' to submit a print request.
  • complete your name, email, description of print and the preferred single colour of your print. The Makerspace reserves the right to use an alternative filament colour, if preferred choice is unavailable.
  • attach the .stl file / GCODE file from your OneDrive.
  • if your print is declined you will be notified by email.
  • please read the terms & conditions of 3D printing in the library makerspace.

To avoid unnecessary waste and to accommodate demand, 3D prints may initially be capped at 5 x 3D prints per user, per semester.

Upload your 3D Print Submissions here 


Terms & Conditions 

  • The Glucksman Library operates a fair use rule, and reserves the right to decline any print request, including the use of a disproportionately high use of the limited materials available.
  • The 3D printing service is currently free and available to UL students & staff - 3D prints will be capped to 5 prints per semester
  • The library will only process one file submission per user at any one time - multiple submissions from a single user will not be approved for printing.
  • The use of the library's 3D printer is for lawful and non-commercial purposes.
  • The library's 3D printing service cannot be used to print items that fall into any of the following criteria:
    • Prohibited by law, including but not limited to weapons and models of weapons.
    • Unsafe, harmful, dangerous or immediate threat to the well-being of others.
    • Obscene or otherwise inappropriate items.
    • In violation of the intellectual property rights of others e.g., copyright, patent or trademark protection - the library accepts no responsibility for this.
  • Items not collected within 14 days become the property of Library and may be recycled.
  • Users of this service must abide by all applicable laws, the University and Library policies.

Please contact us here if you have any questions about the Makerspace and its services.

Want to design your own 3D objects to be printed?

If you are a beginner, we recommend Tinkercad, a free in-browser 3D design tool that is suitable for both beginner to intermediate users. The library Makerspace runs regular workshops on how to get started in Tinkercad, and there are a lot of free resources available online, to help you.

In addition to Tinkercad, there are many other free and payable 3D design software packages for creating and editing .stl files, including:

Opening hours

The Makerspace is open for users to drop-in during the following hours: Monday to Thursday: 2:00pm to 5:00pm.  

The Makerspace is open by appointment only - Monday to Thursday 9:30am to 1:00pm, and Friday 09:30 to 4:30pm whereby we'll offer workshops, equipment induction, tours etc. please contact us in advance, to arrange an appointment.  

Weekends: Closed.  

3D Glucksman Library courtesy of Sean Collins UL

Filament Colours

You'll find many 'free' 3D projects online - here are some of our suggestions:
stl finder
all 3dp

Please note the library makerspace is not responsible for content on these websites.