Although our buildings are closed, the Library is still here to support you online: find out how we can help.
Update: New info available on Scan-on-Demand, Curbside Pickup, and on-campus Library services this fall (2020-07-28)

3D printing at the Health Sciences Library

At the Health Sciences Library you can now print your own 3D model! We have two 3D printers available: MakerBot Replicator 2x and the Ultimaker 2 Extended +.

If you are not sure how to work with the printers, have an idea for a project, or are just curious about the technology, don’t hesitate to let us know. We’ll be happy to help you get started on your project! Contact us at

In February 2016, the Health Sciences Library launched phase 1 of a 3D printing pilot project. The first phase of the project offered a print-on-demand service where students, staff and faculty members from the faculties of Medicine and Health Sciences could submit their 3D print requests via an online form; the model was printed for the user by library staff. Find out more here.

After a successful launch of the project, we decided that the next step would be to allow users to have direct access to the printers by moving the printers to a public space and changing our service from a print-on demand service to a self-serve model.

Who is eligible to use this service?

To use the 3D printers you must be affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine or the Faculty of Health Sciences, including students, employees, professors and affiliated members of a research institute. If you wish to use a 3D printer but don’t belong to one of these groups, you may be eligible to use the facilities at the Faculty of Engineering’s MakerSpace.

Getting started

Find or create your model:

  1. Find or create your 3D model. You can find some ideas here. (Please note that not all designs that you find on websites can be printed or are made for the MakerBot Replicator 2X or the Ultimaker 2 Extended +).

  2. Save your model in an STL format.

  3. Open your STL file in the appropriate software, and select the appropriate settings (raft, support, layers height, etc.)

    1. Makerbot Desktop if you are using the Makerbot Replicator 2x.

    2. Cura if you are using the Ultimaker Extended 2+.

  4. Save your 3D model on the SD card.

Printing your model using the 3D printers at the Health Sciences Library:

  1. Borrow the key from the service desk to access the cabinet in which the 3D printing materials (e.g. SD card, filament spool, hand tools etc.) are stored. You will need your student/employee card to sign-in and to borrow the key.

  2. Make sure you have the STL file for your 3D model saved on a SD card.

  3. Load the appropriate filament in the 3D printer.

  4. Start your print. Support is available only between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm (Monday to Friday)*.

  5. After your print has successfully started, lock the cabinet and return the key to the service desk.

  6. It’s best if you keep an eye on your model while it prints. If a library employee notices a problem while the model is printing, we will stop the print job.

  7. Once your model is printed,

  8. Borrow the key from the service desk.

  9. Remove the model from the printer’s platform.

  10. Using the tools, you may want to clean your model by removing supports, rafts and other extraneous bits.

  11. Unload the filament and put away all the material (SD card, filament, tool, etc.) back into the cabinet.

  12. Turn off the printer.

  13. Lock the cabinet and return the key to the service desk.

  14. Enjoy your new 3D model and plan your next one!

*All prints MUST be done BEFORE the library closes. Please visit the Health Sciences Library website to view our opening hours.


If you are new to 3D printing, we recommend that you attend one of the workshops that will be offered throughout the semester.

  • Intro to 3D printing workshop will be offered to cover the basic principles and enable basic material printing.
User guidelines

Users responsibilities

  1. Filament loading, bed leveling and tape application.

  2. Clearing up simple jams (often cleared by unloading and reloading the filament).

  3. Reporting serious issues to library staff.

  4. Some models require support structures for printing. Users are responsible for removing these structures as well for assembling and cleaning them, if necessary.

Other information

  1. Printing is done on a first come, first served basis.

  2. Due to limited availability of the printer, please limit your builds to a maximum of 5 hours of print time.

  3. No keys, weapons, parts of weapons or other questionable or illegal objects can be reproduced. The library reserves the right to cancel the printing of any object that might threaten the safety of others.

  4. Printer manuals, guides and help sheets are available and located close to the printers. These resources can help to answer many questions about the printing process.

  5. Library staff will be available for assistance with issues between 8:30am and 4:30pm or by appointment.

  6. The Health Sciences Library cannot guarantee model quality, stability or the availability of the printers.

  7. Please note that this service can be changed without notice.

Copyright infringement

Canadian copyright law governs the making of copies or other reproductions of copyright material. Certain copying or 3D printing may be an infringement of copyright law. The University of Ottawa is not responsible for infringing copies requested and made.  By using the service you confirm that you have all necessary legal rights with regard to the objects you are printing.

Back to top