Seeing in 3D
Thursday, December 04, 2014
Posted by: Nathan Swartzendruber
It wasn’t a Cyber Monday deal, but SWON finally bought a 3D printer.
had discussed the idea for a couple years. What would we use it for?
How difficult would it be to get started printing? Which models were
worth having, at what price? Who would we show it to, how would we teach
it, who would want to borrow it?
Those are fine questions, but
they’re very difficult to answer from far off. I’ve heard people ask
similar questions before buying their first smartphone. They’re not sure
how they would use it or what use is worth over a thousand dollars in
fees a year.
Sometimes, with smartphones, it’s a single use case
that makes a strong enough case. I have a friend who’s taking a big road
trip out west. He needs the smartphone’s GPS so that he doesn’t have to
rely entirely on too-small paper maps.
Sometimes it’s just time
to take the plunge. I think that’s how we felt. Two other Regional
Library Systems in Ohio have bought 3D printers, and libraries have
eagerly borrowed them. We have a little more time during winter months
for internal projects, so this is a good time to get some hands on.
bought an Up
Plus 2. It’s on the meeting room table in our office, surrounded by
test printings and spools of plastic. I’m mostly at home right now,
spending time with our newborn baby boy, so it’s been our CE Coordinator
Racheal who’s been doing the printing so far, and she is off and
Melanie has written more
about the experience at the Future
of Libraries blog. We’re looking forward to sharing more 3D
printing news soon.
- Nathan Swartzendruber, SWON Technology
Lending in 3D
lending the 3D printer out soon, two weeks at a time. SWON’s Supporting
Members can borrow the Up Plus 2 (including spools of plastic to print
with and a laptop with the necessary software installed) for $20; for
Geographic Members, $50.
Soon you’ll be able to borrow the 3D
printer, and the other tech SWON has to lend, directly through the
website. We’re still setting this up, but once it’s in place, it will be
easy to find what equipment we have available and put it to use in your
library. More news on this soon!