Library’s 3D printer saves the day
Man travelling across continent by van pays unexpected visit to South Shore library
By Christina Pottie’s estimate, the whole interaction — from the discovery of the 3D printer to production of the part — took 37 minutes.
Taylor Horne, an American driving his van from Alaska across the continent, had stopped at the Lunenburg branch of the South Shore Public Libraries to use the free Wi-fi.
Once at the library, he got talking with Pottie, who is the library’s community engagement co-ordinator, and was told about the printer.
“This is a fantastic, real world example of why this is here,” said Pottie of the printer, adding that Horne’s eyes lit up at its mention.
Pottie explained Horne needed a new part made to fix his odometer and that he had looked into 3D printing.
“Here’s somebody who needed something, printed it and walked away happy,” she said.
Within a few minutes, said Pottie, the designs were on the computer and the Makerbot printer was busily working away.
Horne, said Pottie, was both surprised and in awe that the technology was even available.
The part, which fixed the odometer on Horne’s 1986 van, was ready to install within 30 minutes.
South Shore Public Libraries CEO Troy Myers said experience’s like Horne’s highlight the importance of public libraries.
“I think it underscores again how libraries will continue to be all things to all people,” he said, adding that libraries should aim to be innovative.
“It’s our job to spark imagination in communities and 3D printing is a way to do that.”
The technology itself is easily accessible and inexpensive to use.
Myers explained the library is encouraging people to try their hand at the printer and that there are camps for children to learn how to design their own projects.
“There’s a lot of neat little stories,” said Myers.
And Horne’s experience is just one of a slew of stories highlighting the duality of libraries in the modern age.
Pottie said she was happy to help and following the printer tutorial, Horne was once again on his way.
“It was a real fun afternoon for me,” she said.
Taylor Horne gives the South Shore Public Libraries a thumbs up after using a 3D printer to repair his odometer.