Li­brary’s 3D prin­ter saves the day

Man trav­el­ling across con­ti­nent by van pays un­ex­pected visit to South Shore li­brary

South Shore Breaker - - Front Page - JOSH HEALEY ed­i­[email protected]­breaker.ca

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.

Con­trib­uted

Tay­lor Horne gives the South Shore Pub­lic Li­braries a thumbs up af­ter us­ing a 3D prin­ter to re­pair his odome­ter.

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