3D Printing Coming to a Public Library Near You: Nevada First
As 3D printing becomes more popular among consumers, we expect 3D printers to become more ubiquitous and available to the public. That transition is finally starting to occur, with the University of Nevada engineering library now the first in the nation to offer 3D printing resources to the public.
“We’ve brought the technology out of the lab and into access for all students,” Tod Colegrove, director of the DeLaMare library, said. “It’s a first for universities around the country where the machines are typically part of a specialized program or research lab.”
Using specialized software, the machine builds a three-dimensional plastic model from computerized drawings.
“3D printers are typically purchased by a faculty member with grant funds in support of a particular research project, and installed in isolated departmental locations,” Colegrove said. “Printers remain largely inaccessible to students and faculty outside of a select few. We’ve changed that.”
“In the arts, sciences and engineering, breakthroughs in learning or research often require going beyond pencil and paper,” he said. “With technology and a supportive environment, it becomes possible to breathe life into ideas – in the library. We have a waiting list for projects, which can take anywhere from 40 minutes to 40 hours, depending on the complexity.
3D printing photo by DSTL UNR used under Creative Commons license.