This equipment is available for use at Idea Exchange, Old Post Office, Makerspace and at Idea Exchange, Queen's Square.
3D printing is a manufacturing process that enables you to take a computer-aided design (CAD) and print it out as a usable 3D object. This revolutionary technology has a wide range of applications, from prototyping a new invention or creating replacement parts for machines to designing unique jewelry, art objects and household items.
- All users must have a valid Idea Exchange membership card and show photo ID.
- Before using the 3D printer, all users must sign the Old Post Office User Agreement and Assumption of Risk.
- All users must be 16 years or older to use the 3D printer. Youth under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
- There are no time limits on print jobs, however the object must have finished printing and the build plate be cooled enough to safely remove the object by no later than 30 minutes prior to closing.
- Only 1 print job per person per day.
- You must stay with your print job while it is being printed; members are responsible for their own printing.
- Idea Exchange is not responsible for the functionality or quality of content produced on the 3D printer.
- Staff reserve the right to cancel a print job at any time or to refuse to print items. Examples include cases that violate Idea Exchange policies, are harmful, or are unlawful.
A printing fee of $0.10 per cubic centimetre of filament (printing material) will be charged for each print job. An average print job is about 10 cubic centimetres and costs $1.00.
- The 3D printer is available on a first come, first served basis, except for the first appointment of the day, which can be booked by phone or in person up to 4 weeks in advance.
- There is a 15 minute grace period before reservations are automatically cancelled.
Watch this Introductory Video before you begin.
Things to know:
- Cubicon 3D printers use Cubicreator software to prepare your model for 3D printing.
- Cubicreator is free software you can download to your computer and use to prepare a model for printing at the library!
- Cubicreator software will accept OBJ or STL files. Bring your file with you or create a file at the library.
- Cubicon 3D printers will print your 3D model from a USB key. Bring your own or purchase one of our USB keys.
- Design your own object at the library, or download open source 3D design software to your computer and print your object at the library!
- Don’t have a model to print but want to try out the 3D printer? You can easily pick a model at the library from the Thingiverse website!
- While your object is printing, do not touch the build plate – it is hot!
Let’s get started!
- Log onto the computer at the 3D printing station.
- Open the Cubicreator software.
- Import your own STL file by selecting the Load button on the top menu.
- Select a file to download and select Open OR you can search for an object from the Thingiverse website.
- Search for a model to print.
- Select the Things Files tab to view the model files.
- Select a file to download by clicking on the file title (.stl only!)
- Using Save As, save the .stl file to the USB key.
- Open the Cubicreator software.
- Select the Load button on the top menu.
- Select the file you want to open.
Prepare your model for printing:
- Once the file is open in Cubicreator, click on the model and use the tools below to optimize your model:
- Scale: Adjust the scale buttons on the left hand menu to resize your model uniformly
- Rotate: Use the colored lines around the model to rotate the model
- Transform: Use the colored handles around the model to change the dimensions of the model
- Lay the model flat: Select the model and select Orient on surface on the top menu. Select the side of the model to orient to the print bed and select anywhere on the print bed.
- Select the 3D Printer button to bring up the printer settings (fourth icon from the left).
- Select Quick Settings available from the left-hand menu:
- A Raft or Brim may need to be added for smaller models.
- Supports may be added for models with extreme overhangs.
- Select the Save GCode File button and save the file on the USB key. When it is ready, you will see your estimated print time and the amount of filament it will use!
- Safely eject the USB key and insert it into the top of the Cubicon 3D printer.
- On the touchscreen, touch the screen to wake up the printer. Select Print, File and finally USB.
- Use the arrows to find your print job and then select Start.
- The printer will now start warming up and preparing to print. This will take several minutes.
- When your model is finished printing and the build plate cools to less than 50° Celsius, open Plexiglas door.
- Your model will easily peel off the build plate!
Cubicon 3D Printers
The 3D printers at the Idea Exchange are are manufactured by a company called Cubicon. A free download of the Cubicon Creator software, as well as FAQs and technical specifications are available on the Cubicon website.
- Cubicon Creator software - This page offers downloadable files for the Cubicon Creator Single Plus software, related applications and technical manuals.
Premade 3D Digital Designs
New to 3D printing? These websites will help you get started!
- Thingiverse.com - Thingiverse is an immense design community for discovering, making, and sharing 3D printable things.
- MyMiniFactory.com – MyMiniFactory has tens of thousands of free, downloadable 3D designs, which are guaranteed to work on any desktop 3D printer.
- Instructables – While not primarily a 3D printing website, Instructables has many great resources, tips and tricks to help you get creative in our makerspace.
- Pinshape – Pinshape has a great selection of free STL files contributed by over 70,000 makers and designers.
3D Digital Design Programs
Feeling creative? These websites will make designing an object for 3D printing easy!
- Tinkercad.com - Tinkercad is an easy-to-use 3D CAD (computer assisted design) tool. Sign up for an account, master the tutorials and start tinkering!
- Sketchup.com – Sketchup is a versatile program for 3D design used in a wide range ways including architectural design, interior design, landscape architecture, civil and mechanical engineering, and film and video game design.
- Blender - Blender is a professional, free and open-source 3D computer graphics program used for creating animated films, visual effects, art, 3D printed models, interactive 3D applications and video games.