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January 03, 2013


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Ian Anstice

An expert in 3D printers helpfully wrote an article on 3D printers in public libraries for Public Libraries News a few months ago. You may find it interesting ... http://www.publiclibrariesnews.com/practitioners/2644-2

This was after I wrote a slightly tongue in cheek article myself on the website at http://www.publiclibrariesnews.com/2012/09/could-the-3d-printer-save-the-public-library-service.html.

I think it will be a theme that will recur this year. In a well funded service, such as UK public libraries were (relatively speaking) when the People's Network machines came in for the Internet I would say 3D printers have a place. I know of one authority that already has one, although there are many many more in the US. It is unlikely though that there will be any money for it in the current cash-strapped system. Whether this is a missed opportunity or not, I leave to others to decide.

David Bigwood

Here at the Lunar and Planetary institute we have been buying models of craters made by a 3D printer. We are keeping our eye on the prices of the printers and when they drop low enough it will make more sense to create 3D cartographic pieces here rather than send out the work.

The problem with the original post was he seems to lump all libraries together. It makes sense for some now. It will make sense for more in the future, as prices drop. It will never make sense for all libraries. Any library with a strong GIS that wants 3D representations of that work seems a natural. I personally can’t see much use in a law library. Different libraries, different needs.


Thanks for sharing this article, its been a really interesting read. I haven't had much experience with printers until I just recently purchased one. I really enjoy it just that I can't seem to figure out the epson artisan 800 ink. I don't know exactly how to get it to work and run it. Any advice and tips on how to do so would be great, thanks for sharing.

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