3D printing at the Westlake Porter Public Library

Library stories: Come for the fidget spinners, stay for the fun!

  • Contributed by Jenny Norton Westlake Porter Public Library STEAM Librarian
    Jun 14, 2017
  • Category:
    / Inspiration

We've had our first Ultimaker 2+ at the library since late 2016, but when it really began to pick up in popularity was during the "fidget spinner" craze that swept the schools in early 2017. Suddenly, dozens of prints were being made per week! Our Ultimaker, previously used by a handful of students and some adults, suddenly had over one hundred young 3D printing enthusiasts taking orientations, learning about how 3D printing works, how to download objects, and how to design objects for themselves.

   

spinner

But it hasn't been just fidget spinners.

   

Jenny Norton
Porter librarian Jenny Norton starts up the library's Ultimaker 2+ 3D printer.

One patron, a retired engineer, taught himself how to make replacement parts for broken objects - an umbrella holder for a table or even a missing ramp for a vintage toy truck. He was even kind enough to host a presentation for the library showing fellow patrons what he had done.

Continuing with the spirit of "maker" technology, custom-made cases were printed for the Raspberry Pi, an Epi-Pen, a calculator, and also a light switch cover.

Our Ultimaker 2+ is still on public display, marveled at by the after-school crowd, back behind our Reference Desk. But thanks to its popularity, we'll be putting out our new Ultimaker 3 in our brand-new Makerspace, to be located in our PC Lab. I'm sure it'll be just as popular!

   

reference bunnies
The 3D printed bunnies are multiplying and taking over reference!

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