Monday, July 15, 2013

3-D Printers at Chicago Public Library

3-D octopus
Octopus created from one of the 3-D printers at the Maker Lab. (Michael Tercha, Chicago Tribune)
It'll be interesting to see exactly how this technology will be used in public libraries, and according to the Chicago Tribune, there  will be restrictions on what can be printed at the library. CPL Librarian Mark Andersen says, "We don't want people printing weapons or anything offensive, of course." Even though use of the MakerBot Replicator 2 is free, the librarians must first approve whatever is designed. A few libraries throughout the country provide 3-D printing, though on a limited basis, usually as part of their makerspace areas. I have to admit, I find it puzzling that libraries should want to enter this minefield at all. It's expensive, possibly dangerous, and do the majority of people really have use for it? We'll just have to wait and see...

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