Part of our ongoing mission at Glencoe Public Library is to foster learning, discovery, and creativity within the community. In this spirit, we are pleased to offer our 3D printing service, a breakthrough technology for creation and experimentation.

3D printing is available to Glencoe Library cardholders with an account in good standing. We offer 12 colors to choose from. To learn more about 3D printing browse below. You can submit your 3D design using the online form below. You will receive an automated email to confirm that your submission has been received and is pending evaluation. We will follow up with you if there is an issue with the file or, if there are no issues, when it is ready to be picked up.

The amount of time between submission and completion may vary depending on the number of submissions we have pending and the size/complexity of the print. Please allow 4-7 business days for completion.

3D Printing Policy Info



  • What is 3D Printing? Open or Close

    A traditional computer printer involves the user inputting a digital file into software, which then generates a series of instructions and transmits them to a machine (the printer), which interprets them to create a physical copy of that file. 3D printing is similar to that, except that the end product is a three-dimensional object.

    The basis of a printed 3D object is a model created using computer-assisted design software (“CAD” for short). It contains numerical data describing the object’s width, height, depth, and overall shape. To prepare it for printing, another program divides the model up into thin layers or “slices” before sending it to the 3D printer. The printer then uses heated plastic filament to draw a two-dimensional shape onto a gradually descending surface, building it layer upon layer into the final product.

    The 3D printers at Glencoe Public Library exclusively use Polylactic Acid plastic filament, otherwise known as PLA. Derived from corn starch, tapioca root, or sugarcane, this polyester is a popular material in 3D printing due to its safety and ease of use. PLA can be recycled and will biodegrade under certain conditions, which makes it useful for rapid prototyping and outdoor applications (such as agriculture). When heated, as in 3D printing, PLA emits a mild, inoffensive, syrupy aroma.

  • Using Glencoe Library's 3D Printers Open or Close

    Glencoe residents in good standing with the library may submit designs in .STL format using the form provided below. All submitted designs must abide by the library’s guidelines for 3D printing. See policy listed above for more info.

    Items will be scheduled for printing on a first-come-first-served basis. If your item cannot be printed as submitted, you will be notified and advised of possible corrections to the design.

    When your print is complete, you will also be notified, and the item will be held for you at the circulation desk for two weeks. Any prints unclaimed after that time window become property of the library.

  • Creating 3D Projects Open or Close
    TinkerCAD – a web-based program which is very simple to use and features several excellent tutorials for beginners. For additional features and functionality, try its downloadable cousin 123D Design.
    Meshmixer – This program is useful for evaluating your designs for stability and adding support structures if needed.
    Sculptris – A slightly more artistic approach to 3D modeling. Whereas programs such as TinkerCad use basic geometric shapes as building blocks for your designs, modeling with Sculptris is more akin to shaping a piece of virtual clay. If you have an iPad or Android tablet, you might also be interested in 123D Sculpt, which has a similar functionality with an interface designed for touchscreens.
    Free shape depositories
    My Mini Factory
    Smithsonian X 3D— Iconic Smithsonian collection objects
    NASA 3D Resources— 3D models, textures, and images from inside NASA
  • Learning More about 3D Printing Open or Close

    How 3D 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.


    Lynda, which can be accessed through our website (library cardholders), features several videos and tutorials concerning 3D modeling and printing.



Use Our Online 3D Print Submission Form 

Glencoe Public Library Card Number:*
Color Filament Preferred: White will be the Default*
Phone Number:*
Preferred Method of Contact:
Please choose your age group:
I have read and agree to the 3D Printing Guidelines:*
Upload Your Design (.stl only. 10MB maximum file size):*
Comments: Use this box to add any instructions or to ask questions regarding your print.
Word Verification: