3D Printer

Request a 3D Print Our machine is currently undergoing maintenance. Requests are temporarily closed at this time.

3D Printer Policy

Print Specifics for the Oak Creek Public Library

Oak Creek’s 3D Printing Library

What is a 3D Printer?LULZBOT TAZ 3D printer

A 3D printer creates three-dimensional objects by depositing materials layer by layer. 3D objects can range greatly—essentially, if you can think of it and create a 3D model of the item (or find one pre-made on an open-source website), then it can be 3D printed. Toys, home décor, functional items, fandom items, and more can be printed.

What do you need to print a 3D object?

Part 1: 3D File

Screenshot of the 3D print software Cura

In addition to a 3D printer, you will need a 3D modeling file. Websites such as Thingiverse and 3Dupndown are examples of open-source websites where you can obtain such files. Basically, users post designs they have created through 3D modeling software and allow others to print their designs. There a many different 3D modeling software programs (some free and others at cost), but two of the most well-known are AutoCad and Sketchup. Using these programs, you can create a 3D image for printing.

Once you have a digital file—typically a .stl or .gcode file—it gets loaded into the 3D printer’s software, settings are applied (such as the thickness of the walls, what type of material it will be printed with, et cetera.), and then the item can be printed.

Part 2: Filament

A black and a red spool of filamentJust like a regular printer that needs ink, a 3D printer needs filament. Filaments are actually thermoplastics, which are plastics that melt rather than burn when heated and can then be shaped and solidified when cooled. Filament typically comes in 1 KG reels and is similar to a skein of thread in that the plastic is a thin tube that is wound around the reel. The filament is then loaded into the printer’s extruder nozzle which gets heated to the correct temperature, making the filament pliable so that it can be extruded to create the thin layers which make up the 3D object.

There are many different types of filament, including wood (essentially, plastic with sawdust mixed in), metallic, magnetic, glow-in-the-dark, flexible, liquid soluble (dissolves upon contact with water), et cetera. The most commonly used filaments are typically ABS, PLA and PETG. These are more standard plastic filaments that can be easily used.

Print Specifics for the Oak Creek Public Library:

Request a 3D Print Our machine is currently undergoing maintenance. Requests are temporarily closed at this time.

You can see the 3D printer in action (whenever items are being printed) at the 2nd floor service desk.

How much does it cost to get something printed?

Residents of the city of Oak Creek with a valid library card may request one print job, under 100 grams total weight (including supports/multiple pieces), per month at no cost. Non-residents, and residents who request additional 3D prints or request a print job over 100 grams, must pay for the 3D print at the price of $0.05 per gram.

What color can I have it printed in?

At this time, print jobs can only be one color. However, if you have a print that is multiple pieces, then each piece could be a different color.

The colors currently available are:

Black (PETG), Blue (PLA), Brown (PETG), Clear (translucent – PETG), Copper (pearl, sparkle – PETG), Green (translucent – PETG), Green (seafoam, glow – PETG) Orange (PLA), Orange (glow – PETG), Pink (PETG), Purple (PETG), Red (PETG), Silver (PLA), Violet (glow – PETG), White (PETG), White (pearl – PETG), Yellow (PETG).*

*Filament color may vary depending on current supplier.

How long will it take to print?

Depending on the size of the 3D object (typically measured in millimeters), printing time can vary greatly. For a smaller object such as a ring, it can take approximately 20 minutes. For larger objects such as a vase, it can take upwards of 10 hours. The library’s 3D printer has a maximum print area of 280 mm x 280 mm x 250 mm (11 in x 11 in x 9.8in).

Due to the volume of requests, staff is unable to give a firm date and time as to when the print job will be completed but will make every effort to complete the print job within 2 weeks.

Can I submit a custom print job?

Yes, however we can only accept .stl and .gcode file types. The file must be from an open-source website (in other words, a file that you have permission to use) or a file that you created yourself. Once you fill out the 3D Printer Request Form, you will need to supply a link to the website or email the library with the files at library@oakcreekwi.gov.

Oak Creek’s 3D Printing Library

Request a 3D Print Our machine is currently undergoing maintenance. Requests are temporarily closed at this time.

Using open-source websites, the Oak Creek Library has selected several items to showcase the true variety of items available for printing. Patrons can request any of these items to be printed in any color, but if the item is over 100 grams, if a resident of Oak Creek has already used their free print job, or if they are a non-resident of Oak Creek, the cost of printing will be $0.05 per gram.

All of the images below are photographed to show the dimensions in inches for width and height. Filament color may vary depending on current supplier.

COVID-19 Items

Ear protectors are meant to be worn to alleviate pressure/wear of face mask straps behind the ears. Masks are NOT included with ear protectors.

Face shields are meant to be worn as an additional precaution to be used with a face mask. Clear binder sheets are shown in the example below.


Bookmarks – Full Description and Source Info

“Fandom” Items

“Fandom Items” – Full Description and Source Info

Functional Items

Functional Items – Full Description and Source Info

Home Décor

Home Décor – Full Description and Source Info

Jewelry & Keychains

Jewelry & Keychains – Full Description and Source Info


Toys – Full Description and Source Info