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3D Printing: Policies & Fees

A guide to 3D printing at Joyner Library.


Joyner Library wishes to offer ECU's students, faculty and staff access to emerging technologies such as 3D printers to support and advance the education and scholarship of ECU students, faculty and staff, inspire interest in design, and help students bring their creations to life. This policy establishes how and under what circumstances the ECU community may use the Library's 3D printers.

Policy adapted from the University of Arizona Libraries.

Cost, Printing Estimate & Quality


All 3D printing at Joyner Library will be based on the old "Do-It-Yourself" pricing, which charges per hour of print time. Generic filaments (PLA, PETG) cost $2 for the first hour of printing, and $1 for each additional hour. Specialty filaments (Glow in the Dark, Nylon, ASA, PVA, Carbon Fiber, etc.) costs $3 for the first hour of printing, and $1 for each additional hour. NOTE: Once an item begins printing, the patron is required to pay for the 3D printing service, regardless of print quality.

Printing Estimate

How long it will take to print is dependent on how many prints are in the print queue, and the size and complexity of your model. It could take anywhere from a day or two to a few weeks. In some situations, we may be able to combine print jobs with other users to save on the overall print time. Once the object is printed, you will receive an email with information about pickup. 3D printed items will be held at the TRC’s service desk for 30 days after you are notified it is ready.


Users may see slight imperfections in their prints. Small bumps, holes or rough edges on the object may occur with 3D printing. You can clean up some of the imperfections with fine sand paper or other tools. The printers are very accurate, but there may be some instances where objects with multiple pieces or moveable parts do not fit precisely together.

The printers build objects from the ground up, and certain prints will require supports and/or rafts to ensure proper printing. Supports are often needed if the design has large overhangs or parts suspended in mid-air. Rafts are often used as support at the base of the model and enable smooth removal from the printer. These types of additions are easily removed by the user. Joyner Library staff are not responsible for the removal of any supports and/or rafts for the user.

Joyner Library 3D Printing Policy

Joyner Library's 3D printers are available to ECU students, faculty, staff (the "User") to make three-dimensional objects in plastic or other polymers using a design that is uploaded from a digital computer file. As a condition of using Joyner Library's 3D printers, Users agree to the following terms and conditions (the "Terms and Conditions"):

  1. The Library's 3D printers may only be used to support ECU's teaching, research, and service missions. No one is permitted to create material that is:
    1. Prohibited by local, state, or federal law or violates ECU or University of North Carolina policies.
    2. A weapon or part of a weapon (Note: N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-269.2 specifically prohibits weapons to be possessed or carried on campus.) 
    3. Unsafe, harmful, dangerous, or poses an immediate threat to the well-being of others.
    4. A violation of another's intellectual property rights. User represents and warrants to ECU that the designs submitted are original to the User, in the public domain, or that the User otherwise has the legal right to use the design (for example, the user has obtained a license or permission to use the design from the rights holder). User shall be responsible for and shall hold ECU harmless for any claims or damages arising from or relating to User's violation of this representation and warranty or the Terms and Conditions.
    5. For commercial use.
  2. The Library reserves the right to refuse any 3D print request for any reason.
  3. Patrons may only submit ONE print request at a time. Additional requests should not be submitted until the previous request is finished. 
    1. For multi-part models that will need to be assembled to create a single design when finished, email us for prior approval or to schedule a consultation.
    2. This service is designed for rapid prototyping, not production. No jobs printing large numbers of identical objects will be accepted.
  4. Joyner Library cannot guarantee model quality or stability, nor confidentiality of submitted designs. 3D printed items are provided to users "as is" and without warranty of any kind. Users are responsible for removing rafts and supports.
  5. Once an item begins printing, the patron is required to pay for the 3D printing service, regardless of print quality. Items must be picked up by the individual who submitted them, using a valid ECU 1Card. Items not picked up within 30 days after being printed become the property of Joyner Library, and a fine will be assessed to your library account.
  6. Only designated Library employees and patrons who have completed the required safety training will have hands-on access to the 3D printers at this time.

If you would like to meet with a library staff member for additional information about 3D printing you can email us at with your questions or to schedule a consultation.


Notice Concerning Copyright and Other Intellectual Property Restrictions

The copyright law of the United States governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specific conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement.

This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright or intellectual property laws.

I acknowledge, represent, and warrant as follows:

  • I have read, understand and will comply with the notice and 3D printing policies posted above.
  • I grant permission to East Carolina University and its agents to reproduce the photocopy or other reproduction and return them to me, and I have the legal right and authority to grant this permission.
  • I will use the photocopy or other reproduction only for private study, scholarship or research.
  • I will not use them for any commercial purpose or allow any third party to do so.

3D Printing Help

Have more questions? Need additional help? No problem! Contact us via:


A staff member will respond to your email within 24 hours during normal business hours (M-F 8:00 am-5:00 pm).

Phone-Teaching Resources Center Service Desk


A staff member will return your call within 24 hours during normal business hours (M-F 8:00 am-5:00 pm).