Another 3-D Open Print Dec 13

The public is invited to see 3-D printers in action, find 3-D projects on the web and queue them up for printing at the Fond du Lac Public Library’s second 3-D Open Print event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, December 13.

The library’s 3-D printers will be available to the public to print projects at no charge. Library staff will be on hand to facilitate the printing. No registration required, but due to heavy volume, most print projects will be ready for pickup at the library at a later date.

3-D printing uses a process that starts with an object model and divides the object into layers that are “printed” with plastic filament. In large applications, 3-D printing projects are limited only by the printer's size and programmer's imagination. The machines have been used for years by engineers, especially in manufacturing applications, but the advent of small, low-cost machines has captured the imaginations of hobbyists and garage inventors.

Unlike how they’re portrayed in movies and TV, these 3-D printers cannot scan a household item and print its duplicate. 3-D print projects must be translated into digital design files. But there are thousands of free, downloadable projects on websites such as thingiverse.com.

One way to participate in the Open Print would be to find a project on thingiverse.com and bring that information to the event. Library staff will help download the projects and upload them into the 3-D printer. The array and diversity of projects on thingiverse.com is staggering; everything from snowflake Christmas ornaments to iPhone cases to drone components.

 

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