3D Printing


Imprimante 3D MakerBot Replicator

Starting in the Fall 2014, the Library has launched a service of additive manufacturing (3D printing) using a MakerBot Replicator device. The Library is unveiling 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 3D printer can only be used in the presence of an authorized employee.
  5. Users must provide any information requested by an authorized employee.
  6. The Library will keep a copy of the files used for printing and take a picture of the 3D object.
  7. The user must inform the Library of the confidential nature of his or her designs and plans, if there are any.
  8. 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.
  9. The Library is not responsible for the security of the user’s data and loss or damage to the files.
  10. Please note that this service can be modified without any prior notice.


  1. Users wishing to submit a printing job must complete the form (PDF format) and email it to library staff (biblio-si@polymtl.ca), accompanied by the print file (in STL format). The object's dimensions must be stored in either centimeters or millimeters (ISU). The file name must include the name of the user.
  2. Library staff will contact the user within 1-2 working days to get and to confirm the necessary details about the printing project or request changes. They will inform the user of the estimated printing schedule and duration, the approximate weight (in grams) and the estimated printing cost.
  3. The user must send his/her approval by email before printing begins.
  4. Users wishing to attend to the launch or take part in the printing process should make an appointment with library staff.
  5. When the printing is complete, library staff will inform the user of the final cost of the object. It can then be claimed at the Circulation Desk after payment of the printing cost.
  6. The cost of any unclaimed printed object will be added to the user's library account as a fine to be collected & paid.


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.

Printing request form (PDF)

Technical Specifications

The Library uses a MakerBot Replicator printer with 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.

  • Maximum printing size : 24 cm (9 " 1/2) width ✕ 14.5 cm (5 " 3/4) height ✕ 18.5 cm (7 " 1/4) depth
  • 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, green, red, orange and translucent (only 1 colour per print)

Technical specifications of the MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D printer (PDF)


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

Estimate the cost of your project:

  • MakerBot Print – import your STL file in the software, check its integrity and estimate the cost of a print from the projected weight in grams (available for Windows and MacOS X)

A few software suggestions:

  • Autodesk Fusion 360 – free education license for students and teachers (available for Windows and MacOS X)
  • 3DTin.com – 3D modeling freeware (available online for Firefox and Chrome)
  • FreeCAD – open source parametric 3D modeler (available for Windows, MacOS X and Linux)
  • 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:

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