Disclaimer: Due mostly to my duties on ALA Council, I only had time to visit the exhibits floor a couple of times. As a result I have no idea if anyone besides Brodart was demonstrating a 3D printer. If you are a vendor planning to be at ALA Annual in Las Vegas and you’ll have a 3D printer at your booth, drop me a line.
The library supplies company Brodart has begun to sell the Afinia H-479 3D printer. This printer got a favorable review in PC Magazine. I visited Brodart to see this printer in action. I should have taken more photos but you hopefully get the idea.
The printer is very quiet and items seem to come out ready to use. The black and white rocket is printed in pieces and then assembled. To get a multicolored object you have the software pause while you change the plastic filament. According to the PC Magazine article referenced below it might be good to have this printer in a well ventilated area and use blue tape on the printing surface. The printer can print items up to five inches cubed. The red object printing in my photo had taken about two hours to get to this point.
Between seeing the printer for myself and the PC Magazine review which indicated this printer is in place in a lot of middle schools it MIGHT need less tech support than some of the other 3D printers out there. But you have to settle for smaller objects.
If you have experience with the Afinia H-479 3D printer, please leave a comment.
HOFFMAN, TONY. 2014. “This Worry-Free Printer Is A Solid 3D Starter Kit.” PC Magazine, Feb. 2014, p. 71-75. Business Source Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed February 1, 2014). (EBSCO subscription required)