3D Print at Your Library!
by Robin Hegg
3D printing can put the power of production into the hands of individuals. But until the arrival of affordable home printers, there are programs through libraries, schools, and camps, that can help you access and learn about 3D printers.
Libraries are leading the way in educating the public about 3D printing technology and making it accessible. Many libraries now have 3D printers available for public use and many hold 3D printing programs in which teens and adults can learn how to use the 3D printers. Librarians are working to define their role in the wider use of 3D printing and trying to anticipate the questions and issues that increased 3D printing raises, such as possible copyright infringement, or the legal ramifications of a 3D-printed gun. They are working to develop a set of best practices to help guide library patrons in their 3D printing. Ask about the availability of 3D printers and 3D printing programs in your local library system.
There are also opportunities to learn about 3D printing through after school programs, like those at New York City-based Pixel Academy and through summer camps like Digital Media Academy’s 3D Printing and Industrial Design summer tech camp for teens.