Daily Illuminator

November 18, 2023: Explore 3D Printing At Your Local Library

There are a lot of 3D printing hobbyists out there, but many people encounter a significant barrier to entry – cost. Desktop 3D printers can cost anywhere from $250 to $10,000, and that's not including the price of PPE, resin, and other accessories. Fortunately, libraries across the country are offering people a chance to experiment with 3D printing.

Wait, libraries?

Yes. If it's been a while since you've visited your local library branch, you may be surprised to learn that many have gone beyond books, computers, and historical archives and are offering makerspaces as well. In a report from 2020, the last year for which they provided stats, the American Library Association stated that 1 in 5 public libraries across the United States offered 3D printing services. That number is probably even higher now! 

Although more libraries are hosting makerspaces, your library may not have access to a 3D printer just yet. Those that do offer 3D printing may have specific policies in place and may also charge a fee to help cover the cost of resin. Call ahead or stop by your branch to learn more about their services and see if they have 3D printers available for use. You'll be on your way to printing wizards, Foes, and cars in no time!

-- Katie Duffy

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