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The State University of New York at FredoniaReed Library

3D Printing: Software

Design Software

To create your own designs you have quite a few different options in design software. All of the following programs are free for you to use to create 3D models. Looking for inspiration? Be sure to check out the 3D Model Gallery below to explore premade designs.

  • TinkerCAD
    • A web-based program for the beginner. Great for customizing 3D models or creating your very own.
  • Blender
    • Blender is a powerful, free, open source tool for creating 3D animation and models for 3D printing.
  • SketchUp Make
    • A user-friendly tool used for creating and editing 3D designs. It is Ideal for novices and also comes in a paid Pro version.
  • OpenSCAD
    • An ideal tool for creating solid 3D CAD models. Also great for models of machine parts.

Getting Started

Once you have created or downloaded an .stl or .obj file, you will need to use the MakerBot Print software to prepare your print (i.e. the orientation on the plate, the size, etc.). Save your file as a .print file by saving it as a project within Makerbot Print. Your .print file can then be uploaded into the request form.

  • Take a look at the list of different websites to find 3D files or at the software available to create your design 
  • Once you have a file, download the MakerBot Print software to prep your design for printing

The computers located in Reed Library contain the MakerBot Print software. 

3D Model Websites

If you're just looking for inspiration or want to explore the possibilities of 3D printing, check out the following collections with downloadable 3D model designs.


  • Thingiverse - Thingiverse is a community dedicated to sharing 3D designs.  It has hundreds of user-submitted designs organized in categories and collections including Art, Gadgets, Learning, Tools and Fashion that are free to download.
  • My Mini Factory - My Mini Factory is the second largest online 3D filesharing site.  Although the majority of files on My Mini Factory are free, the site also offers professional designers the opportunity to monetize their design and sell the .stl files through the site.
  • All 3DP - All 3DP is a great resource for 3D printing news, design ideas, technology trends, helpful hints, reviews, and innovation in 3D printing.  For regular updates about the world of 3D printing, they offer a twice-weekly newsletter.

If you do choose to use a downloaded file, be sure to read through the Helpful Hints section above to make sure your design is printer-friendly prior to printing.

Helpful Hints Before You Print


  • Make sure your design fits on the print plate (11.6" x 7.6" x 6.5").
  • To keep the amount of material down, you can scale down your object.
    • OR lower the infill; however, doing so will make the print less durable, and lowering too much could cause print failure.
  • For more questions check out the FAQ tab.

Library Policy on Use of 3D Printers

Individuals who use the Library's 3D Printers must comply with University and Reed Library Policies.

Specifically, the library's 3D printer may not be used to create materials that are:

  • Prohibited by local, state or federal law.
  • Prohibited by University Policies.
  • Unsafe, harmful, dangerous, or poses an immediate threat to the well-being of others.
  • Obscene or otherwise inappropriate for the campus environment.
  • In violation of intellectual property rights.

The Library reserves the right to refuse any 3D print request.

Daniel A. Reed LibraryThe State University of New York at Fredonia • 280 Central Ave., Fredonia, NY 14063 • 716-673-3184 • Fax: 716-673-3185 •