You can’t afford your own 3D printer, or are too timid to jump into the hardware to build one from a kit. You don’t want to use a 3D print service because you don’t quite understand what it’s all about. What do you do?
Go to the Library! A growing trend is for local libraries to install a simple personal 3D printer and offer it for use to the public, much like they would a photocopier.
We think this is a tremendous idea, not only because it will grow knowledge of 3D printing among the public, but also because it could trigger the development of new small businesses using 3D printing – and also raise the sales of personal 3D printers.
One excellent example of this approach has been done in Rhode Island by the Cranston Public Library System, who have installed a MakerBot Replicator 2X earlier this year. The machine is not only available to the public for printing, but the facility also provides introductory training courses to educate those interested in 3D printing.