3D printing has changed the landscape of manufacturing. Engineers, artists, entrepreneurs and hobbyists can now harness the power of 3D printing to turn an idea into reality. To support such creativity in accord with its long-standing mission to make discovery accessible to and affordable for everyone, the Hooksett Library is home to a FlashForge Creator Pro® 3D printer, courtesy of a generous donation by the Friends of the Library, as well as an Ultimaker 3® printer.
- Find an object on Thingiverse (also, view our Collections on Thingiverse). If you plan to design your own object, review the 3D Design Resources section below.
- Make sure that the 3D object is an original design, not an object or character that is subject to copyright or trademark protection (e.g., Minions, Star Wars, Minecraft, etc.).
- Check the file format to make sure it is .STL or .thing. Some files on Thingiverse are for different machines, and will not work with our printer.
- 3D models that require few or no supports as part of the print job tend to turn out better than models that require a lot of support material, which can be difficult to remove and can affect the quality of the print.
- If a model has been successfully printed by many people, that's a good sign!
- After you've found an object you would like to have printed, be sure to save it in .STL or .thing format.
- Use this 3D Print Request Form to request a 3D print.
- Library staff will print your file and notify you when it is ready to be picked up. We cannot give you an exact estimate of when your item will be ready as it depends on how long the file takes to print, and how many other requests we have.
- Pay for and pick up your item at the Front Desk and enjoy!
If you'd like to enlist the services of our expert 3D design team to help you design (or modify) an existing 3D object for your needs, here's what you need to know...
- Use this 3D Design Request Form to request design services. Once the form is submitted it will be reviewed with the following things in mind...
- Feasibility: (a) Will the requested design fit in 3D printer at the Library (i.e., bigger than a breadbox)? (b) Will a 3D printed object work in your application (i.e no engine crankshafts)? (c) Do we have the time to work on the project (our volunteers do this on their own time)? (d) Does the request exceed the skills of our volunteer design engineers?
- Cost Effective: (a) Is there a commercial option readily available? (b) Some custom designs may take more than one try to get right, so you may have to pay more than once for the object.
- Practical: Is there already a 3D file which you could print (i.e is something already on Thingiverse which would meet your needs)?
- Once your 3D design request is reviewed, you will be contacted by our team to update you on the status of your 3D print request as well as the charge for the services (proceeds to benefit the Friends of the Library).
Want to go deeper into 3D design? Check out this curated list of free resources, including easy to advanced levels!