3D Printing Resources: FAQ

Learn about 3D printing and discover new resources.

3D Printing Workshops

Ultimaker 2Go Printing a Blue Model Frog

Periodically the Library offers 3D printing workshops.

Checkout Cougar Connect for workshops.

Click here to see all workshop opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Columbus State Library received a grant through the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (ILMS) awarded by the State Library of Ohio with which it purchased an ULtimaker 3 Extended 3D printer. The printer is available to students, faculty, and staff to print academic projects and learning objects.

1. Where can I find a design to print?

There are many sites where you can download a 3D file to print. The Library’s 3D Printing Guide has a list of places where you can search for designs: https://library.cscc.edu/3dprinting/designs. You can also stop by the Learning Center to work with a librarian to locate a design.

2. Where can I go to create my own design?

There are many free software options. Check out the Library’s list: https://library.cscc.edu/3dprinting/software. Each semester the Library and Learning Center offer 3D printing workshops on Tinkercad, a free, online program.

3. Does it cost to have a design printed?

Presently, the Library does not charge for 3D printing due to grant funding. Designs created during workshops are also printed for free.

4. Okay. I have a design. How can I get it printed

You can email your design as an attached file to Lorien Anderson (landerson62@cscc.edu). Your design must be saved as an .stl or .obj file. We will open your file in Cura, a 3D printer slicing application that will allow us to add supports if needed and will also tell us how long your file will print. We will then email you back and let you know if we are able to print your design and give you a tentative completion date. Note that there are some restrictions due to object size and time to print.


5. I want to have a design printed for a project. How soon do I need to submit my file?

3D printing is not a fast process. Depending on your design and settings, a project can take many hours to print. Sometimes prints fail or the printer requires maintenance. We also print designs in the order in which we receive them. We recommend that you submit your print request at least 7 to 10 days in advance, the earlier the better. Consider consulting with a librarian about your project and design and to have a stronger understanding about what to expect.

6. What material and/or color will you use to print my design?

For most requests, we use PLA, a thermoplastic that is non-toxic and biodegradable. A limited number of color choices are available (white, black, red, and blue).

7. How can I find out about the status of my print job?

You will receive an email when your print is ready to pick up from the Learning Center. If there is an issue with your file or print, a librarian will also contact you to discuss other options.

8. I picked up my printed design. Can I paint it?

Yes! Acrylic paints tend to work the best for PLA prints. You can use any cellulose- or oil-based spray paint. Before you paint, however, consider using sand paper to smooth your print’s surface, especially if it required supports. This site has a good overview on how to finish your print: https://formlabs.com/blog/priming-3d-printed-parts/.



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