3D Printing

3D Printing in the Library

Library & Information Services 3D Printing Service is available for use by current James Cook University students and staff. The printers are conveniently located on the ground floor of the Cairns, Nguma-bada Campus Library and the Eddie Koiki Mabo Library in Townsville.

For more information Ask Us.


Library & Information Services currently have two Zeus AIO printers (one at the Cairns, Nguma-bada Campus Library and one at the Mabo Library, Townsville, Bebegu Yumba Campus).

The maximum printing dimensions are 152mm (length) x 200mm (width) x 144mm (height).

Conditions of use

The 3D printers may be used for lawful purposes only. Clients will not be permitted to use the printer to create objects that are:

  • Prohibited by Australian law.
  • In violation of another’s intellectual property rights; for example, material that is subject to copyright, patent or trademark protection.
  • Unsafe, harmful, dangerous or that may pose an immediate threat to the well being of others.

Library and Information Services reserves the right to refuse any 3D print request.

Copyright and 3D printing

Users of the 3D printing service must abide by all applicable Australian laws including the Copyright Act, 1968 and University policies including the ICT Acceptable Use Policy and Library Use Policy.

For more information, see the Australian Copyright Council’s 3D Printing & Copyright information sheet and the JCU Copyright Policy.

Submitting a 3D print request?

  1. Select or design your 3D model - maximum printing dimensions are 152mm (length) x 200 mm (width) x 144 mm (height).
    1. Thingiverse.com offers many pre-made design

    If you'd like to create your own design:

    1. Tinkercad is a free, easy to use, online 3D modelling application that you can use on any of the JCU student computers. The Learning Tinkercad tutorial from LinkedIn Learning provides a quick overview of the application.
    2. Blender and OpenSCAD are more sophisticated, free applications that you can download onto your own computers.
  2. Please see our guide for further help and tutorials on using various 3D printing design programs.
  3. Save your 3D model as a .stl file.
  4. Check your design against our 3D Printing Guide checklist.
  5. Submit a 3D printing request. You will need to use your JCU email address when submitting a print request.

Please note that the Library does not offer a 3D scanning service.

File submission and approval

All submissions are subject to approval based on scheduling, availability, and adherence to the Information Communication Technology Acceptable Use Policy.

Print time varies depending on the design and dimensions of the 3D object. Library and Information Services reserves the right to deny any print request for any reason.

  1. The 3D printing team will analyse the submitted file(s) and follow up via email if updated files are required.
  2. A quote will be emailed to the JCU email address provided.


Upon receipt of a print request, a quote will be supplied based on the estimated time required to complete the print.

  • The minimum charge is $5, which covers any print job taking up to 5 hours to complete.
  • Jobs over 5 hours duration will be costed at an additional 50c per hour.
  • Accepted jobs will be charged to staff/student library account.
  • Payment can be made in person at time of collection.

Library and Information Services reserves the right to alter the charges for 3D printing as required.

Collecting your print job

  • You will be advised by email when the object is ready for collection (including a snapshot of the completed object).
  • Completed jobs will be available from the InfoHelp service points on the ground floor of the Cairns, Nguma-bada Campus Library and the Mabo Library, Townsville, Bebegu Yumba Campus during Library opening hours.
  • Objects can be collected upon presentation of your JCU ID card and payment of the quoted cost.
  • Objects not collected within seven (7) days may become the property of JCU.
  • Submitted files will be deleted after the object has been printed and collected.

Quality of prints

  • There may be slight imperfections in the prints. Small bumps, holes, or rough edges on the object may occur with 3D printing.
  • There may be some instances where objects with multiple pieces or moving parts do not precisely fit together.
  • 3D print jobs may include support structures including bases (rafts) and pillars to prevent drooping during the printing process. It is your responsibility to remove these structures. We are unable to re-print jobs damaged during the removal of these structures.


While Library and Information Services staff make every effort to oversee the use of the equipment in the printing of an object, the use of the printed object upon completion is not under the direction or control of the JCU Library. Library & Information Services is not responsible for any object created with the use of the 3D printer, including any harm or injury incurred as a result of any usage of the 3D printer or the object which is printed.


Check our FAQs or get in touch with our 3D printing team.

What is 3D printing?