3D printer

Courtesy photo

3D printer with printed plastic objects.

Beaumont Library is now offering 3D printing services to the public.

Cardholders will be able to print 3D objects by emailing their name, card number, and their design as an STL file to 3D.printer@bld.lib.ca.us.

If cardholders do not wish to use email, they can bring their design to the library on a flash drive or other external storage device, and a staff member will add their item to the print queue.

The charge for each item printed is $1, plus five cents per gram of plastic used to produce the object.

Beaumont Library uses a LulzBot Mini FDM-style printer, which can print objects in plastic up to 170 mm wide by 170 mm deep and 157 mm high, which is roughly 6.7 inches wide by 6.7 inches deep and 6.2 inches tall.

FDM printers work by melting and depositing plastic layer upon layer in a specific pattern until the fully printed object is completed, a process that can take anywhere from five minutes to dozens of hours depending on the size and detail of the object.

Beaumont Library, however, caps their prints at a maximum of eight hours.

Patrons may choose to request a specific color of plastic for their print, depending on its availability.

Though Beaumont Library has had the printer for some time, it has only recently been made available to the public due to questions about its use.

“It’s a big step to take,” says Devon Kimler, the Adult Services Librarian in charge of the 3D printing program. “It’s sort of like when computers were first becoming this big thing that libraries were offering, and libraries suddenly had to make all sorts of decisions about what can and can’t be done that they hadn’t had to consider before. It’s new ground for all of us.”

For those who want to learn more about 3D printing, Beaumont Library will soon be offering online workshops to introduce patrons to the basics.

The first of these will be “3D Modeling and Printing with TinkerCAD,” planned for the afternoon of Oct. 9, and will include detailed instructions on how to create and submit files to be 3D printed at the library.

To register for this workshop, please call the Library at (951) 845-1357 during regular library hours.

Further information, including 3D printing FAQs and a full copy of Beaumont Library’s 3D printing policy, can be found on our website.

Beaumont Library, a California Special District independent of both city and county government, provides library services to Beaumont and Cherry Valley.

Call (951) 845-1357 or visit bld.lib.ca.us for more information.

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