Skip to Main Content

3D Printing & Scanning: Printing Policy

Policies and procedures for using the 3D printer. Includes directions on obtaining and designing files for print and procedures for preparing and sending the print request.

ISU Libraries 3D Printing Policy

Idaho State University Libraries provides 3D printing technology as part of a mission to provide resources and services that support and advance the education and scholarship of ISU students and faculty. University Libraries is strategically positioned to provide a place for collaboration, offering new and emerging technology to the ISU community, promoting student success, and nurturing creativity and discovery with state-of-the-art tools.  In order to provide optimal service to the ISU community, ISU Libraries adheres to the following regulations and policies.

Who Can Print 3D Objects at ISU Libraries

3D printing at University Libraries is available to all ISU students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Alumni must have an Alumni card. At this time, only authorized ISU Libraries staff will have physical access to the 3D printer.

ISU Libraries reserves the right to:

  • Refuse any 3D print request.
  • Use staff discretion to organize the print queue for overall efficient output. Priority may be given for class assignments.
  • Photograph all 3D objects printed. Images may be used for monitoring, marketing, and reporting outcomes.
  • Gather feedback from users.
  • Implement additional requirements not listed here.

What Can't Be 3D Printed at ISU Libraries

The 3D printer is to be used for lawful purposes only. Failure to comply with the policies listed below can result in the rejection of future 3D print requests. No one is permitted to use the 3D printer to create material that is:

  • Out of compliance with Idaho State’s IT Acceptable Use policy.
  • In violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
  • In violation of the ISU Weapons policy.
  • Prohibited by local, state or federal law.
  • Obscene, pornographic, or otherwise inappropriate for the University environment.
  • A risk to or endangers others.
  • In violation of another’s intellectual property rights as covered by copyright, patent, and/or trademark protections.


Limitations include:

  • Only .stl file formats will be accepted.
  • At this time, the library’s 3D printing is limited to the maximum size per piece: 29.5 L x 19.3 W x 16.0 H cm [11.6 L x 7.6 W x 6.3 H in.]. 
  • Only PLA (polylactic acid) plastic is available for printing.
  • This service is designed for rapid prototyping, not production. Large number print jobs of identical objects will not be accepted.
  • ISU Libraries is not responsible for failed models.
  • Since 3D printing is a relatively new technology, often, layers of 3D printed objects are visible or there are bumps and irregularities.
  • Many structures with overhangs must be built with support structures attached. Removing supports can affect the level of quality of a print.
    • Removing supports is not the responsibility of the ISU Libraries staff.

Hours of Operation

  • 9a-4p Monday through Friday, not including ISU holidays.
  • Please allow 1 week from approval for print completion.
  • Submit your image design on the 3D print request form.

Cost of 3D Printing

The cost of 3D print models is based on weight.  University Libraries will charge $.05 per gram for models weighing more than 20 grams.  For models weighing from .01 to 20 grams, the cost will be $1.00.  Prints that weigh over 100 grams ($5.00) will require patron approval before the print will be started.

  • Maximum print size is 29.5 L x 19.3 W x 16.0 H cm [11.6 L x 7.6 W x 6.3 H in.].
  • Payable in cash at the circulation desk upon pickup.
  • Cost of print jobs that fail due to design errors will be assessed to the patron.
  • Cost of print jobs that fail due to ISU Libraries staff error or to hardware failure is the responsibility of ISU Libraries.

ISU Libraries will assume ownership of completed print jobs not picked up after 7 business days and reserves the right to deny future print requests to that patron.

Pick Up Your Completed Print

The patron:

  • Will be notified by email when the 3D print job is complete and ready for pickup.
  • Must pick up the completed print job during the hours of 8-11:30a and 1-4p Monday-Friday within 7 business days of the completion notification email.
  • Who submitted the form must be the person to pick up the print.
  • Must bring his/her University ID for identification verification purposes.


Brigham Young University Science & Map Department. (2017). 3D printing guide. Retrieved from

Chan, J. R. M., & Enimil, S. A. (2015). Copyright considerations for providing 3D printing services in the library. Bulletin of the    Association for Information Science and Technology, 42(1), 26-31. 

Gonzalez, S. R., & Bennett, D. B. (2016). 3D printing: A practical guide for librarians. London: Rowman & Littlefield.

Horton, J. (2017). A content analysis of 3D printing policies at academic libraries. Journal of Library Administration, 57(3), 267-281. doi:10.1080/01930826.2016.1258876

Get Online Access Support
• Eli M. Oboler Library • 850 S. 9th Avenue • Stop 8089 • Pocatello, Idaho, USA 83209 • Site Feedback - Library Webmaster
Licensing Restrictions for Use of Electronic Resources