3D printers coming to Dubuque's Carnegie-Stout Public Library - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

3D printers coming to Dubuque's Carnegie-Stout Public Library

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

You'll be able to do more than just check out books and music soon at Dubuque's Carnegie-Stout Public Library.

Soon, you'll be able to design and print 3D objects.  And there is a lot of excitement about it.

"There's countless times of people saying, 'Hey! Can you print something out for me?'," Jason Burds, the IT supervisor for the library said.

The library has four machines that were secured with grant money.  Three of those machines will be available for public use, while the fourth will be available for checkout by area non-profits. 

So far, library staff has made all kinds of projects with the printers, from a piggy bank to a teapot.  They even made a full chess set, which took 48 hours of printing on all four machines to make.

"It's a way to access technology that you might not be able to afford to reach otherwise. People may want to try a 3D printer but they might not want to own one--they might not have that great of need," said Susan Henricks, the library's director.

The software to design 3D objects can be downloaded for free, so you can design your objects at home or at the library.  Once designed, library staff will plug it into the machine and retrieve it when it's done.

And it will be fairly cheap, too.  "This isn't a revenue generator for us," Henricks said.  The average project will cost between $5-$10, depending on the size and weight.

Library staff will also monitor printed items to make sure things like weapons can't and won't be printed on these machines. 

"Materials that people might find objectionable, weapons, and also something that might have a copyright on it. We won't be allowing that," Henricks said.

Henricks said the machines should be available for public use by the end of May.

 

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