3D Printing


Imprimante 3D MakerBot Replicator

In the Fall of 2014, the Library launched a service of additive manufacturing (3D printing) using a MakerBot Replicator device. Since 2022, the Library also uses an Ultimaker S3 device. The Library offers this service in support of PolyFab, the Fab Lab of Polytechnique Montréal.

Please note that the 3D printing service can be subject to changes without any prior notice.

What is additive manufacturing?

From a three-dimensional model, pieces are gradually formed by stacking successive micro layers of material (ex. plastic or wax heated to a high temperature) using a high-precision nozzle controlled by computer. This process is similar to the operation of ink jet printers, hence the name of three-dimensional printing.

Why a 3D printer in the Library?

Along with many other academic libraries in the world, our library believes in the educational and social potential of this technology. Libraries offer physical spaces where people can get together to learn and share their knowledge. Since 3D printing makes it easy to produce a physical object from an abstract or computer model, the Library wants to make this technology available to the greatest number of users. This service should help to form a community of people working together to create and build, to act as an engine for innovation and discovery, and to support individual projects of the Polytechnique Montréal’s community members.

Printing Policy, Terms and Cost

Printing Policy

  1. Priority is given to students, teachers, staff and alumni of Polytechnique Montréal (on a first come, first served basis).
  2. Copyrights and trademarks must be strictly respected. You must be the creator of the object to be reproduced or have written permission from the copyright holder.
  3. No keys, weapons, parts of weapons or other questionable or illegal objects will be reproduced. The Library reserves the right to refuse to print any object, including items that violate applicable laws and regulations or that might threaten the safety of other users.
  4. The handling of the printer remains at all times under the control of authorized staff.
  5. Users must provide any information requested by an authorized employee.
  6. The user must inform the Library of the confidential nature of his or her designs and plans, if there are any.
  7. Some models require support structures for printing. The user is responsible for the removal of these structures, as well as their assembly and cleaning, if necessary.
  8. The Library is not responsible for the security of the user’s data and loss or damage to the files.
  9. Please note that this service can be modified without any prior notice.


  1. Users must submit a 3D Printing Request using this Form.
  2. Library staff will contact the user within 1-2 working days to obtain and to confirm the necessary details about the printing project or request changes. The approximate weight and costs will be communicated prior to printing.
  3. The user must send his/her approval by email before printing begins.
  4. When the printing is complete, library staff will inform the user of the final cost of the object. This can then be claimed at the Circulation Desk after payment of the printing cost.
  5. The charges of an unclaimed printout will be added to your Library patron file as a fine to be paid. No refunds will be made.


The cost of 3D printing of an object is set at:

  • $ 0.35 per gram
  • minimum of $ 3.00 per printed 3D object

The approximate weight and cost will be provided to the user before the printing has started. No refunds will be given for any reason.

3D Printing Request Form

Submit a 3D printing request

Technical Specifications

The Library owns two types of printers. The MakerBot Replicator+ printer uses a PLA (polylactic acid) plastic filament to produce prints. This type of plastic is biodegradable and non-toxic. It is also suitable for objects which can come into contact with food. The Ultimaker S3 printer uses both PLA and PVA (polyvinyl alcohol) plastic filament, the latter used for printing of support material. PVA will dissolve completely after being immersed in water for about 24 hours, which allows for printing of fine details and easy to remove support. We will choose the printer to use based on project complexity and printer availability.

Ultimaker S3:

  • Maximum printing size: 20 cm (7,9 ") width ✕ 19,2 cm (7,4 ") depth ✕ 23 cm (9 ") height
  • Printing quality: low (0.3 mm per layer – quick printing of thick layers), standard (0.2 mm per layer – quick printing with a good quality surface), high (0.1 mm per layer – slow printing of thin layers)
  • Available colours: black, white, blue, red, orange and translucent (only 1 colour per object to print)
  • Technical specifications of the Ultimaker S3 Printer (PDF)

MakerBot Replicator+:

  • Maximum printing size: 25.2 cm (9.9 ") width ✕ 19.5 cm (7.7 ") depth ✕ 15 cm (5.9 ") height
  • Printing quality: low (0.3 mm per layer – quick printing of thick layers), standard (0.2 mm per layer – quick printing with a good quality surface), high (0.1 mm per layer – slow printing of thin layers)
  • Available colours: black, white, blue, red, green*, orange* and translucent* (only 1 colour per object to print)
    *These colours are available in limited quantities. If your colour choice is not available at the time of printing, you will be invited to choose another colour.
  • Technical specifications of the MakerBot Replicator+ Printer (PDF)


Consult the guide on 3D Printing created by Polytechnique Montréal Library.

Estimate the cost of your project:
Use the printing software for our printers. Import your STL file in the software, check its integrity and estimate the cost of a print from the projected weight in grams.

A few software suggestions:

  • Autodesk Fusion 360 – free education license for students and teachers (available for Windows and MacOS X)
  • OpenSCAD – open source parametric 3D modeler (available for Windows, MacOS X and Linux)
  • Tinkercad – 3D modeling freeware (available online for Firefox and Chrome)
  • Wings 3D – open source 3D modeler (available for Windows, MacOS X and Linux)
  • Thingiverse – 3D printing community and directory of models available under a Creative Commons license

About the rise of 3D printers and Fab Labs in libraries:

Contact Us

For information:

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