I’m very glad that @bmmsben posted his notes and slides for his Wisconsin Library Association presentation Thingibrary : 3D Printing in a Public Library. He describes the Sauk City Public Library as a small public library. This smallish presentation shows that a smallish library with the right staff can make 3d printing work.
I highly recommend reading through the notes first, then viewing the slides. What I appreciate about his presentation is that he has both statistics and stories about how their 3d printer is being used. My favorite story is about Zach (story edited for flow and to eliminate bullet points):
Zach’s mom cuts his hair using clippers. The guard she uses for him and his brothers keeps breaking. The guard is not available for purchase anywhere, they had to keep buying new clippers with the guard each time. He designed a replacement set using Google Sketchup. He tested, adapted and improved his design over three versions.
Now he can print off a replacement when the guard breaks.
The library empowers a child to learn new skills that saves his family a significant amount of money. Isn’t this the sort of story we want for our libraries?
I think you’ll find Ben’s stories of usage helpful when confronted by “Why would anyone want a 3d printer in the library?” Another helpful item in Ben’s notes is that he outlines all of the costs involved.
3d printing is still not for every library. Not everyone will have the staff to maintain the printer and teach the skills necessary. There may not be community interest. But in places where there is community interest, it appears that running a 3d printer program might just be more in reach than many of us supposed.
via MOOCing Up North http://ift.tt/16KQ04c