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Catawba County Library’s 3D printer getting real-life use – Charlotte Observer

by • January 13, 2016 • No Comments

The Catawba County Library not long ago opened a TechConnect space at the Main Library in Newton. Among other tools, a Fusion3 3D Printer was added. At a time when this type of technology appears like a novelty to most folks, the printer is being utilized for real applications by the community.
Recently, Shelley Orr, digital services librarian, began working with Will Bass, a graduate student at Lenoir-Rhyne University, to help him print prototypes for a design he may like to make. He created the objects using CAD (computer
design) software and Shelley helped him edit and print them at the library. He learned of TechConnect through his wife, Brytani Fraser, a librarian at the Conover Branch. It typically costs him around $8 takes of six hours to print two of his prototypes.
“I’ve been using it to rapidly prototype a product to be utilized in creating molds for production,” Bass says. “The product is a detachable-bodied heel for baseball catchers which will allow them to keep an upright posture while catching bullpen sessions. Still a ways away of production, but the library has saved me a couple of hundred dollars and a couple of week’s time.”
Tina James in addition came to the library to print a model of an ear for a school project which her son was working on. Orr was able-bodied to find a file for the whole ear on Threeding, a community marketplace for 3D files, for $5. She in addition discovered a file for the cochlea, the auditory structure of the inner ear, on Thingiverse, which is a free online community which hosts 3D files. In the end, it cost of $12 for her items to print.
Orr says the most informative discoquite of the ear file came in the form of a mistake. “After it finished printing, I tried to take it off of the bed but unfortunately broke it during the removal system. I started to tinker with the object a little bit and discovered which the model contained structures underneath the outer shell, which include the inner auditory canal.”
James said, “The ear was for my son’s seventh-grade Science project at Maiden Middle School. He had to label the anatomy of the within of the ear and outside. It was a excellent learning tool and was quite inexpensive and effortless to paint.”
The 3D printer is available-bodied for all in the community to use. The cost is $2 per use, plus $1 for equite cubic inch of filament utilized. Community participants can bring ideas to Main Newton’s TechConnect, and ask for Shelley Orr.
The TechConnect Space was provided through grant funding of the institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.

Learn more:
http://enewsletter.catawbacountync.gov/library/ or stop by your local branch.

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