What’s Your Library’s 3D Printing Policy?

circuitboard used under CCL from

As libraries, higher education, and hacker spaces begin to offer 3D printing services for students and community members, what policies do they have in place? While I’ve read lots of blog posts about costing out 3D printers, I haven’t come across any policies or guidelines for use. Before your institution purchases a Makerbot Replicator 2, help us put together some resources.

If you have a policy or know of one, please add the link below. If your institution does not have a policy in place, add some text below and together we may be able to create some boilerplate that other institutions can use. Finally, what copyright considerations are there for 3D printing?


Adam Rogers

Meg, thanks for pointing to our Makerspace! We don’t have a written policy, but there are many answers to common questions on our FAQ there, which approaches a policy. We also have terms of service for 3D Printing and an agreement that users sign off on. Those read:

NCSU Libraries cannot guarantee model quality or stability, confidentiality of designs, or specific delivery times. Refunds and re-prints will only be available in the event of machine malfunction. We reserve the right to refuse to print any model for any reason.

I agree to use the 3D printer exclusively for lawful purposes that respect the policies of North Carolina State University and the NCSU Libraries as well as the safety and well-being of all students, faculty, staff, and patrons. I agree to pay the total cost listed above.

I’m interested to hear what others are doing.

Adam Rogers
Emerging Technology Services Librarian
North Carolina State University Libraries

Mary Axford

The Library Lab group on ALA Connect has at least put together a list of libraries with Makerspaces, though don’t know if they’ve collected policies yet. If you do, try coordinating with that group so there isn’t a duplication of effort.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.