Thursday, 12 December 2013

3D printers and the library

For some months I had been noticing on Twitter the trend of Makerspaces in the library and that a couple of librarians have 3D printers in their public libraries and I began toying with the idea of purchasing a 3D printer for our school.  In early November I headed over to KLO Middle School in Kelowna to check out the 3D printer that they purchased back in May.  I was only at KLO for an hour, but what I saw in that hour left me in awe.

I was amazed by the size of the 3D printer and its portable nature.  I loved how quiet it was because it meant that it could run during class time because 3D printing takes time.  I also liked the looks of Google's Sketch Up as it was user friendly. I had been worried about the software getting in the way of the technology.  I left with a cookie cutter and whole bunch of ideas.

This past week saw the arrival of our 3D printer, the Afinia H series printer.  On Monday morning at 9 am I was unpacking it from it's box and by 2 in the afternoon it had already run its first creation.  I must admit, I could sit and watch the printer run all day - it simply amazes me to see something spring from what appears to be nothing.  I love the potential that there is with this machine; truly your imagination is the only limitation.  I love the wonder that I see in teachers and students.  The printer was running during lunch on Thursday and the stream of students and teachers who wandered in to just check out the printer's progress was delightful to see.  What really gets me is the conversations that occur while the print is happening.  Every conversation is about revision and what should be changed for the next time.

I'm so excited to see where 3D printing is going to fit in at our school.  I can already tell that one is simply not enough.


2 comments:

  1. Oh. My. God. Did I walk past this and not see it? I am also excited to see where this goes. And the conversation. It's always about the conversation.

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  2. Massey's been playing with it. I love the red hinge (pictured above) - it's made from one print and it is a functional, moving hinge. So cool. I love seeing people's eyes light up.

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