About 3D Printing


What is 3D printing?
3D printing is the process of building a physical 3D object by laying down one thin layer of plastic at a time. The printer builds the object based on a digital 3D object file (.stl), combined with instructions on how to lay down the layers (.gcode).

video: 3D printing in action 

What material is used?
Polylactic Acid (PLA) is a plastic derived from renewable resources like corn starch or sugar cane. While it is ultimately biodegradable, printed objects should last for many years. It does not create harmful fumes when heated.

Why is MacEwan University Library providing this?
MacEwan University Library’s vision is to be “Your place to learn, engage and discover.” Toward that vision, we are pleased to be able to provide barrier free access to 3D printing in our space. The skills learned and the objects created contribute to student success, innovation, research and creative scholarship at the university. Providing the opportunity for students to create digital and physical 3D models contributes to our library mission to support student development of competencies and capabilities required to interact with the world of information today.

3D printing at John L. Haar Library

The 3D printers operate in a glass room in front of Borrower Services around the clock, and you can submit a print job any time, but the room will only be open from 9am-4pm Mon-Fri. We have 3 Ultimaker printers (printer specs). 

Who can submit a 3D print request?
Current members of the MacEwan University community who have a valid university ID can log in and submit a print request.

There is currently no cost to this service as we wish to encourage use and learning of this new technology.

How does the 3D printing service work?

  1. After you submit a request, you will receive an email confirming your submission.

  2. Your model will be assessed and coded for printing. You will be emailed about any problems or concerns with your print file, for example, prints longer than 8 hrs will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. We aim to have your print ready within two weeks.

  3. Once your object is finished you will receive an email to pick it up at John L. Haar library at the Borrower Services desk. You will be able to place another print request once you have picked your object up, this is necessary to ensure broad access to the service and ensure timely printing. We will keep your object for 30 days.

What can you print?

You may want to print models or prototypes for assignments and research or something for personal use or interest. Generally, prints should be maximum 8 hrs. 

Prints must be in accordance with MacEwan University Library's 3D printing policy and requirements.

3D Printing Policy
MacEwan University Library reserves the right to refuse any print request.

We may not be able to print your submission due to the following reasons:

  • The file is not viable to print. It may contain elements or be designed in such a way that printing it could damage the 3D printer. See preparing your 3D print file.

  • Prohibited by local, provincial, or federal law. No guns or functional weaponry. Props or costume items will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

  • The file violates intellectual property or copyrights including objects or aspects of such that are registered trademarks or patents.  

  • Commercial use, the service is not intended to provide objects for commercial purposes. However, prototyping is encouraged.

  • Multiples will have to be approved on a case-by-case basis, due to print time restrictions, only one object can be requested at a time. Class sets can be printed, other requests for limited amounts of multiple copies for non-commercial use will be considered and accommodated where possible.

Our printers are in an open and visible part of the library so we can not keep your print private. However, your personal information provided in the print request will be kept confidential.

In summary, print jobs should not pose a risk to the printer, be prohibited by law, for commercial use, or violate intellectual property or copyright.

How to tell if a file is licensed for re-printing, modifying or sharing?
See the licensing and copyright for 3D prints.

With thanks to U of A, NAIT and EPL for sharing their 3D printing policies.

Get Started
See preparing your 3D print file for where to get free 3D models.

Have questions?
You can ask specific questions regarding a print job in the notes section when you submit your print request. General inquiries can be sent to library3d@macewan.ca where you will be contacted by one of our technicians, you can also ask in our library.

If you would like to learn more about 3D Printing or have an in-depth question you can meet with a technician during these days/times:

3D Technician Schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Not Scheduled