3D Printing is all the rage these days. You can see examples of it on the news often, from stories about 3D printed cars to artificial limbs. Many 3D printers can now print in materials other than plastics, such as flexible nylon, metal, wood and even food-based materials.

We are very interested in 3D technology and feel it plays an integral part with the library’s role in our community – that of a place where innovation is sought and made available to the public for experimentation and exploration.

Our 3D printer, a Cube 3 model manufactured by 3D Systems, was purchased over a year ago. It took several months for us to work with the device – learning all it’s idiosyncrasies and best practices for printing. We launched 3D printing as a service in August of 2015. To date we have printed over 70 different objects ranging from models found through free repositories to those created by our users themselves. Below are 4 timelapse videos of some of the items we have printed.

The 3D printer has endless possibilities and we will continue to see what we can do with such a device. As the following videos display, we are experimenting with a print your own 3D printer. This is currently in a proof-of-concept phase and is intended to create a 3D printer of which 60% is printed on an existing 3D printer. Stay posted to our “Tech It Out” blog for updates.

Nick O'Neal is the Director of Technology & Online Services for the Kirkwood Public Library. He has been with the library since July 2012. He enjoys playing video games, listening to Classic Rock, and watching movies. His favorite authors include Douglas Adams, Michael Crichton and Clive Cussler.