3.2 3D Printing Policy


The Traverse Area District Library has acquired a 3D Printer and has determined to make it available for patron use under certain terms and conditions and consistent with its purpose to provide access to facilitate research, learning, and recreational pursuits by furnishing materials of requisite and appropriate quality. The purpose of this policy is to set forth under what terms and conditions a library patron may access and utilize the Traverse Area District Library’s 3D Printer.

Print Requirements

  • Patrons can only use filament supplied by the library. A cost will be established to cover the cost of filament used, at a per gram rate. 
  • There is a minimum charge of $1.00 per 3D print.
  • The 3D printer must be used only for lawful purposes. It may not be utilized to create objects that:
    • Are prohibited by local, state, or federal law.
    • Are obscene or otherwise inappropriate for the library and public environment.
    • May cause harm, be unsafe, or pose an immediate danger or threat to oneself or the well-being of other community members.
    • Are subject to legal copyright, patent, or trademark.
  • TADL will not print any object that is a weapon of any kind such as a sword, knife, gun, axe or other object appearing to be designed as a weapon.
  • A TADL staff member shall review each object file before it is cleared for 3D printing, and the library retains the right to refuse or deny any 3D printing request.
  • The print file submitted must be submitted digitally in a .stl format.
  • Only one print request per person will be accepted and printed at a time.
  • The print object must be smaller than 210mm high (z-axis) 210mm deep (y-axis) and 250mm wide (x-axis).
  • Library staff reserve the right to resize projects unless dimensions are specific in the request.
  • Color preferences may be submitted, but the library will determine the color of the filament based on availability.
  • Items that are not picked up after one month (30 days) will become property of the Traverse Area District Library. Items must be picked up by the individual who submitted the project file.
  • A charge in the amount of the print’s cost will be added to the patron’s library record account for any unclaimed items.


  • Files are printed on a first-come first-served basis, and we cannot guarantee that prints will be completed by any given date or time. 
  • Priority printing will be given to library programs and events.


  • The Library Director, or designee, reserves the right to set a limit as to the maximum amount of time a print job may take.
  • Only designated library staff, volunteers, and patrons that have satisfactorily completed required library training will have hands-on access to the 3D printer and 3D scanner.  
  • The Traverse Area District Library is not liable for injuries, property damage, or failure of function caused by objects or materials made through the utilization of our 3D printers.
  • Due to the nature of 3D printing, no file is guaranteed to print successfully, and minor flaws and imperfections can be expected, such as small cracks and warping at the bottom of the print. The Library will not refund any prints with minor imperfections, but staff will do its best to notify patrons if a print is likely to have imperfections when they review the print file for approval. If the final print results in substantial portions of the model missing (such as a missing limb of an animal statue), library staff will notify the patron of the failure and remove the charge.
  • Since 3D printing is a visual process, complete and total patron privacy is not a possibility. However, the library will not offer or provide information about a 3D print requester to third parties. Your submission of a 3D printing request shall constitute written consent to disclose the record to the extent that the information cannot be kept confidential due to the nature of the process.

The above policy is subject to change or amendment by the Traverse Area District Library Board at any time.


Adopted December 19, 2019 / Reviewed and Renumbered from 3.6 to 3.2 August 18, 2022