3-D printing available to library patrons; free introductory sessions scheduled

SANTA CLARA — The future has arrived at the Washington County Library’s Santa Clara branch and the public is invited to come see it, learn about it and utilize it.

The Santa Clara library’s new 3-D printer. Santa Clara, Utah, March 6, 2016 | Photo by Austin Peck, St. George News

“We have a new 3-D printer here at the Santa Clara library,” Abraham King, library branch manager, said. “It’s a Maker-Bot Replicator Plus. The latest and greatest they have out on line, and we’re so happy to introduce it to our patrons.”

King showed off some of the creations that the printer has made so far. Chains, an R2-D2 toy, gears, an intricate geared toy and a very practical item.

“The library’s digital camera lost its lens cap,” King said. “We went online and found the file to make a lens cap and printed up a new one.”

King said it’s amazing what the printer is able to create.

See the video in media player top of this report.

Chess pieces created using the Santa Clara library’s new 3-D printer. Santa Clara, Utah, March 6, 2017 | Photo by Austin Peck, St. George News

The library will be holding open houses to introduce the new printer to patrons every Monday night in March from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Library patrons will be able to watch the machine in action and actually print something that they can keep at no charge during these sessions.

“It was a goal of mine for our branch to introduce new technology to go along with our mission statement for the library,” King said. “The library isn’t just for books anymore. It’s a community center. It’s for learning; to explore, develop and be creating.”

The $2,800 printer was paid for with library funds, King said.

“I’m so grateful to our director, Joel Tucker,” King said. “He came in and said ‘OK, let’s do this. Let’s just buy it and get it out there to our patrons.'”

Event details

  • What: Introduction of the library’s 3-D printer.
  • When: Mondays, March 13, 20 and 27 at 5:30 p.m.
  • Where: Washington County Library, Santa Clara branch, 1099 Lava Flow Drive, St George.
  • Cost: Free. The public is invited.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.


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  • Brian March 7, 2017 at 11:14 am

    Cheers for taking the initiative on this. Our robotics team has used 3D printing extensively for pulleys, sensor mounts, motor mounts, bushings, etc, etc. It is SO nice to be able to design and print exactly what you need. A pulley we print to our exact specifications is only $1 or $2, and ordering in something that would be “close” is $8 – $15. Many parts are only $0.10 or so.

  • old school March 7, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    It’s a library, this adds no value to the “mission” other than to serve as a “new toy” for whoever pushed the idea in the first place. You have remember where library funds come from. Personally, I think the purchase should be investigated and use closely monitored. And not just by the local “special interest group”, or select few privileged enough to enjoy it. Santa Clara seems to have history of extravagance at the tax payers expense

    • Brian March 8, 2017 at 12:15 am

      Wow, you have the right moniker: old school. It may have been all Socrates and Aesop when you were growing up, but kids these days are growing up on a different planet. The library is EXACTLY where this type of thing should be (among others). This isn’t available to a privileged few, it’s available to anyone who wants to use it to learn. Library cards are free and filament is cheap. 3D printers (and the pre-requisite 3D / 2D CAD knowledge) are skills many of these kids will use in their careers (medical, dental, manufacturing, engineering, automotive, you name it). This is far from a toy (though it can be used that way, the same way woodworking equipment can be used to make a rocking horse). 3D printing is rapidly growing in manufacturing (there are things you can 3D print that can’t be made any other way). It’s completely reshaping physical R&D and prototyping. And the best part is there are LOTS of free or open source tools that anyone can use (OpenSCAD, CURA, 123Design). Having a 3D printer perfectly fits the mission of a library: to help people learn and expand their knowledge and skills. I wish they had them when I was growing up.

    • .... March 8, 2017 at 4:54 am

      LOL old school. calm down you’re going to have a stroke ! if it bothers you that bad get your books from Amazon

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