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3D Printing Guide: Printing Policy

How to utilize the Library's 3D printers.

HBLL 3D Printing Policy

The Harold B. Lee Library provides 3D printing technology as part of its mission to provide resources and services that support and advance the education and scholarship of BYU students and faculty. In order to best serve the BYU community, the Library adheres to the following regulations and policies.

Who Can Print 3D Objects at the HBLL?

People allowed to use the 3D Printer:

  • Currently enrolled BYU students
  • BYU faculty
  • BYU Staff
  • Non-BYU Library patrons (could subject to quantity limitations depending on our current queue)

In general, 3D objects are printed on a first-come, first-served basis. However, priority will be given to students printing for academic purposes. Because of limited staff and hardware resources, the library does not guarantee specific delivery times. We can almost never guarantee same-day delivery.

What Can’t Be Printed at the HBLL?

The library will not print models that may result in legal action against the University, its employees, and/or its students. To ensure the safety of the BYU community and compliance with the BYU Firearms & Weapons Policy, no object that may function as a weapon, or part of a weapon, will be printed. Facsimiles of weapons will not be printed.

The library will not print models that infringe on intellectual property rights including items/objects that are:

  • Copyrighted
  • Patented
  • Trademarked
  • Registered Designs
  • Any other Proprietary Object

Additionally, no object should in any way be:

  • Pornographic
  • Illegal
  • Obscene or Offensive
  • Pose a Risk to or Endanger Others

Accordingly, library staff may ask you to provide proof that the work to be printed is:

  • Your creation
  • Public domain
  • Part of your research or coursework at BYU
  • Does not conflict with any BYU policy or the restrictions stated above

In some cases it may be necessary to provide either written confirmation from an instructor that an object is for a class/research, a written approval by University Police, or both.

If you are unsure if your object meets our guidelines, feel free to come in to the Makerspace Help Desk and ask for clarification in person. 

Cost of 3D Printing

The HBLL charges for 3D-printing using a cost-recovery model based on the amount of material used. The final product will be weighed and the patron charged: $0.10 per gram of material used in the print, including support materials.

Failure to pick up a printed object within two weeks of printing will result in the cost being charged to your account as a library fine. Estimates of cost are available prior to placing an order based on the digital 3D model to be printed.


Limitation Include: 

  • File formats .stl, .obj  Most CAD and other 3D modeling software will export to these file formats.
  • Please Avoid using SketchUp as we cannot guarantee that the projects will print correctly
  • Maximum print size is 9.84"×8.3"×8.3" (25×21×21 cm) or 
  • Currently only PLA (polylactic acid) plastic is available for printing
  • This service is designed for rapid prototyping, not production. Very long jobs printing large numbers of identical objects may be rejected.
  • All 3D models will be printed by HBLL staff
  • Failed prints due to errors within the 3D model will still be charged for materials used
  • Failed prints due to HBLL staff error or hardware failure of the 3D printer will not be charged