3D Printing Comes to Sunnyvale Library

Library staff will vet all designs before they go through high tech printer

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Your local public library is evolving. Instead of reading about inventions, you can now create your own thanks to a new 3-D printer. Marianne Favro reports. (Published Tuesday, May 7, 2013)

    Your local public library is evolving.

    Instead of reading about inventions, you can now create your own thanks to a new 3-D printer.

    The Sunnyvale Public Library is the first in the Bay Area to get one and starting in June you'll be able to see your designs come to life using plastic filament.

    “I think I will make a model of my greenhouse invention. I could use it so people can get a better understanding of what it would look like” said Brendon Owcarek, a library patron.

    The library purchased the $2,500 printer with money from a federal grant.

    The printers have been in the headlines recently after it was used to made a functioning plastic gun and a company said it plans to post the blueprints on how to do it online. Library staff says it won’t be possible to make a 3-D gun on the library computer.

    "Librarians will be monitoring the machine so you can’t just walk in off the streets and print out something. We will be reviewing and vetting all designs and we will be in charge of putting in the card that creates the product” said Lisa Rosenblum, Director of Library Services for the City Of Sunnyvale.

    She also says if something suspicious or inappropriate shows up on the preview monitor then you won't be able to use the machine.

    You also have to sign up online first and take an instructional class before you can turn plastic filament into creations like a bracelet, owl or key. Making an object is fast, you can have a bracelet in your hands in just eleven minutes..

    The library director says the printer is a good match for budding inventors in Sunnyvale, because the branch already has its own patent resource center.

    You may walk out with something cool or quirky in hand, but the hope is the bigger gift will be learning how to transform your idea into something tangible.