3D Printing: A New Dimension in Service
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3D printing is a technology that brings three-dimensional computer models to life as a tangible physical object. Recent reductions in the cost of this technology have made it a hot topic for DIYers and the “maker movement.” In an academic library, it is apparent that disciplines as wide-ranging as Art & Design, Business, Engineering, and many more can make use of this technology as a tool for creation, prototyping, modeling, and other activities and research limited only by imagination. The library has always been a center for gathering, processing, and transforming information and thus is the natural home for a service that facilitates creation and sharing of information in ways not previously available.
Since launching a 3D printing service in September 2012, Lovejoy Library has seen interest from students and faculty in several disciplines. Usage statistics and feedback from users have been collected, and web statistics for the service’s web pages indicate even more interest than can be seen in the usage statistics. A survey is being developed to collect additional information from potential users to investigate the discrepancy, and ongoing improvements to the service are planned.
This poster session will describe - through photos, printed material, and physical display - Lovejoy Library’s implementation of the service and the equipment and software involved. Examples of printed objects will also be available for display and examination.