Mount Prospect Public Library strives to connect people to resources that spark innovation within their lives. We provide access to the Dremel® Idea Builder 3D40 to engage the community with new and emerging technologies. Check out our upcoming 3-D printing classes here.
How 3-D Printing Works
The Dremel 3D Idea Builder is a 3D printer that turns digital models into physical objects. Once a 3D model is designed or scanned, and converted to a .STL file, you can use Dremel 3D software to build the model on your Idea Builder. Using the 3D model as its map, the 3D printer lays down the first thin layers of a filament called PLA, a plant-based, recyclable form of plastic. The layers of filament stack up one by one until – ta da! – a complete physical object is formed.
Source: Dremel support
Using Our 3-D Printers
To use our 3-D printers, please fill out the submission form below.
- Print jobs must be submitted using the form below.
- Must be MPPL cardholder.
- For patrons under 18 years of age, permission from a parent or guardian is required.
- If submission exceeds maximum build size or time, files will be scaled.
- Items can only be printed in one color.
- Filament of the same color sometimes sport subtle variations in pigment.
- Contact us with questions or issues: email@example.com.
- Each patron may only submit 3 items per month.
- Print time will not exceed 5 hours.
- We will not print illegal, inappropriate, potentially dangerous items or those items that violate copyright laws.
- If the model fails to print or requires editing, patrons will be contacted to edit and resubmit their designs. Patrons will not be charged for failed or incomplete print jobs.
- Patrons can contact staff for the cost of printing and estimated completion time.
- Patrons will receive notification when the print job is completed.
- Items will be available for pick up at the Registration Desk. Production times may be up to a week or longer.
- Items must be picked up within 2 weeks. Items that are not picked up become property of the library and may be recycled. Patrons will be charged for the items.
- See complete guidelines: 3-D Printer Guidelines
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the cost of 3D printing submissions is currently free to minimize monetary transactions at the library desk. With that being said, rules for printing have temporarily become more stringent, please review the guidelines above.
3-D Design Tips
- Design to avoid supports by changing the orientation of an object or cutting a file into pieces and gluing it together (see photos below). Keep the YHT rule in mind:
- Y: overhangs less than 45 degrees can generally print without supports,
- H: the horizontal bar is a bit messy but since it has the vertical side bars as supports, it’s not terrible quality,
- T: only has support in the middle and is truly printing out over nothing, making it the worst quality.
Change orientation so no supports are needed.
Cut into pieces and glue together so no supports are needed.
All three of these prints could be perfect without supports if they were printed on their backs instead of standing straight up.
- If your design has interlocking parts, the inside part should be between .2-.4 mm smaller.
The blue W is .3 mm smaller than the W cutout that it fits inside on the white part.
- Any details smaller than .1 mm will be lost.
This resource is free with your library card.
To access, click “Log in” at the top right side of the page. Next click “Organization Login” at the top of the login box that will pop up, then under “Enter your organization’s URL to log in through their portal” enter mppl.org. The final step is to enter your library card and PIN.
Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Software
Free .STL Files
Some sites require a free account.
Note: Some free designs may not print properly. It is recommended that you inspect them in a CAD software before submitting.
My Mini Factory
Smithsonian X 3D— Iconic Smithsonian collection objects
NASA 3D Resources— 3D models, textures, and images from inside NASA