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SWON News: The Low Down

SWON Weekly: Free 3D Printer Lending with Instruction, Hip-Hop Classes for your Teens and more!

Friday, June 17, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Cassondra Vick
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Have you checked out 3D printers lately?

Perhaps you took a look at them several years ago and weren’t sure if they were a technology that was going anywhere. Or you took another look a few years ago and even though you thought they were interesting, they also seemed not quite ready for prime time. Perhaps you checked one out a couple of years ago and thought they seemed like something you’d love to try out, but were just too fiddly and technical for the you and the community you served. Then you looked last year, but good models were simply more than you could afford.

So maybe it is time to look again? Technology, as you know, changes (and improves!) at an ever-accelerating pace. Though we’ve been chugging along here at SWON with the same 3D printer for a couple of years now, a need for a repair gave us an opportunity to look into purchasing a newer model and we’ve been pleasantly surprised!

There are many more models that are virtually “plug and play” at plug-and-play prices, too… with interesting things on the horizon, such as Mattel’s $300 ThingMaker, due out this fall. (Do you remember the old ThingMaker and the Creepy Crawlers?) 3D scanning may be more of a cutting-edge technology, but this year’s CES featured a number of all-in-one or AIO machines that can scan, render, slice and print all in the same place. Meanwhile, your plain old 3D printers are becoming increasingly capable of printing in materials besides brittle plastic – consumer models may now work with dissolvable, metal, and even wood filaments!

We here at SWON, however, settled on an affordable, well-liked model by the maker FlashForge and after 3 days with our Finder, I think I’m in love! I’m so in love, in fact, that I can’t wait to share the Finder with YOU! (And I mean in person... not in just in this video.)

If you are an employee of one of our over 60 Supporting Member Libraries, you can normally borrow our 3D printer (or one of our many other tech-to-lend items) for a low fee, and add on instruction from me for $50. I’d like to offer you a chance to borrow the printer for FREE, with a brief (1 hour or less) instruction session from me. Afterwards, you may keep the printer for up to one week for you and your patrons to play with!

If you work in Adams, Brown, Butler, Champaign, Clark, Clermont, Clinton, Darke, Fayette, Greene, Hamilton, Highland, Madison, Miami, Montgomery, Preble or Warren counties, that makes you one of our Geographic Members. Normally, you’d pay $50 for the rental and also for my time or mileage. I’d like to also offer you an opportunity to try out our Finder for FREE, with 1 hour or less of instruction costing only mileage. Again, you may keep the printer for up to a week.

Can’t take advantage of either of these deals or want more instruction? Join me on Tuesday, July 12th for “The Thingiverse and Beyond” a Level-Up Lab where we’ll not only play with our FlashForge Finder, but also delve into creating models for 3D printing from scratch! It’s easier than you think and Level-Up labs are always free.

As excited as I am about this, I’m also crazy about many other items like our Cubelets robots, our Cameo Silhouette electronic cutter, our upcoming “Makerspace on a Budget” lab and lots, lots more that is always available to SWON members free or really, really cheap. Take advantage of these resources that your membership is already paying for! You can schedule online or contact any time.

To redeem your free time with me and the FlashForge Finder, please contact me at to schedule a visit. I hope to see you here or at your library soon!

~ Cassondra Vick, Technology Educator, SWON Libraries


Where street art meets street smart, Elementz is an urban oasis of hope and a catalyst of change for Cincinnati’s inner-city youth. What began as a way to get kids off the streets in 2001 has transformed into a thriving Urban Arts Center that fosters talent, ignites potential and inspires possibilities.  At Elementz we embrace art that speaks to urban youth, and encourage original youth to learn and produce original works in those art forms.

Elementz can provide workshops for you and your teens on Hip-Hop dance, music and even graffiti on canvas. Contact Tom Kent at or call 513.379.3239 to book Elementz for your teen event.

Level-Up Labs

In June and July, we've got those upcoming labs on making, "Makerspace on a Budget" and "The Thingiverse and Beyond," as well as a great session for managers and supervisors on managing different personalities. There's more tech, HR, and library learning topics to explore in the months to come and Level-Up labs are always FREE, so register tody!

Internet Librarian Discount 

Who should attend?

  • Academic, public, corporate, government, special, and school librarians
  • Library Directors and Executives
  • Information Managers
  • Information Architects and Specialists
  • Researchers
  • Systems Professionals
  • Content Managers
  • Technical Managers
  • Information Professionals

Why should you attend?

  • Discover  the insights, strategies and practicesthat allow us to push the envelope in expanding the net, building solid connections to the Internet of Things, managing libraries and digital information, and enhancing the information sharing and learning experience of people in our communities
  • Meet and hear from leading “movers and shakers”in the information industry in all types of environments —leaders in the information industry are integrating content and delighting their clients, organizing and managing digital content in creative ways, setting the context for excellence in information utilization in their organizations, revolutionizing the roles of info pros, creating new learning and discovery areas with makerspaces, building strong collaborative communities among their customers and colleagues, and using new technologies in exciting ways
  • Gain access to leading-edge companiesin the showcaseoffering visitors a choice of products covering all aspects of internet technologies, including content providers, online services, software, document and web delivery systems, search engines, and more
  • Networkwith your peersduring interactive events, including special evening programs, receptions, and dine-arounds, and connect on social media before, during, and after the conference

Contact to receive your discount code today and save 30%

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