San Rafael Public Library

3D Printing

3D Print Drop-In Schedule

Please call the Northgate Library to make sure we are taking new orders.
If you have a project in mind, we can work with you to have it printed, or help you choose a file from a database of objects. Please note that there is a queue and wait-time for prints. Please see our 3D print guidelines.

Northgate Library at the Northgate Mall (near the food court)
415-890-5670 x 3

3D Print Guidelines

  • Prints will be completed in the color of the filament that is currently loaded in the machines. 
  • A five (5) hour cap will be applied to prints; larger prints can be scaled down in size to fit the limit. 
  • All prints will be printed in PLA plastic. 
  • Prints must be comprised of three (3) or fewer pieces that are all able to fit on the print bed at the same time. 
  • Requests are printed in the order they are received in; we will contact you once your print is complete.
  • One (1) print per person, per month.
  • Once you are contacted about your print being complete, you will have until the end of the following month to pick it up.
  • Staff can accept a limited number of print requests per week; once we hit our capacity, we cannot add additional prints to the queue.
  • Patrons are not permitted to print weapons using the library 3D printers. 


Why can’t I choose a color?  

Switching between colors creates additional plastic waste, wear on the 3D printers, and takes more staff time. To avoid these issues, we are restricting the color we will be printing with to whatever color filament is already loaded in the 3D printer.  

Why is there a limit on how many pieces my print can be even if it is under the five-hour limit? 

Prints with more pieces are much more complex for library staff to complete. We are limiting the number of pieces to be able to get prints to patrons in a timely manner. 

How will the five-hour limit be determined? 

At the point when you submit your print file, a library staff member will put the file in our cutting software, Cura Lulzbot Edition. That program will give an estimation of how long the print will take. From there the print can be scaled up or down to adjust the print time. 

Why PLA plastic? 

PLA plastic is based off corn starch instead of petroleum. Under industrial composting conditions, PLA plastic can be composted. By using PLA plastic in our printers, we hope to reduce plastic waste, decline the libraries investment in petroleum products, and use materials that are easier to break back down into soil. Please note that you cannot put your PLA plastic in your home composting bin.  

  • Downtown Library

    Sun: 10:00-5:00
    Mon: 10:00-5:00
    Tues: 10:00-7:00
    Weds: 10:00-7:00
    Thurs: 10:00-5:00
    Fri: 10:00-5:00
    Sat: 10:00-5:00

    (415) 485-3323

    1100 E Street (at 5th Avenue)
    San Rafael, CA 94901

  • Pickleweed Library

    Sun: closed
    Mon: closed
    Tues: 10:00-5:00
    Weds: 10:00-5:00
    Thurs: 12:00-7:00
    Fri: 10:00-5:00
    Sat: 10:00-5:00

    (415) 485-3483

    50 Canal Street
    San Rafael, CA 94901

  • Northgate Library

    Sun: closed
    Mon: closed
    Tues: closed
    Weds: 11:00-5:00
    Thurs: 11:00-5:00
    Fri: 11:00-5:00
    Sat: 11:00-5:00

    (415) 890-5670

    5800 Northgate Drive Ste. 083
    San Rafael, CA 94903

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