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3D Printing in an Academic Library – One Year Later Marc Comeau & Michael Groenendyk.

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Presentation on theme: "3D Printing in an Academic Library – One Year Later Marc Comeau & Michael Groenendyk."— Presentation transcript:

1 3D Printing in an Academic Library – One Year Later Marc Comeau & Michael Groenendyk

2 3D Printing?

3 Is This The Future of 3D Printing? Images:,,

4 Or Is This? Image:

5 Should we be doing this? Mission scope-creep? Novelty? Printing trinkets? Do people know how to use it? Too early to adopt? Could be very influential technology? Bring relevant tools to patrons? Inspiring new forms of content creation?

6 Why would we put a 3D Printer in a Library? Importance of 3D visualization in our culture Object designs Video games, movies Medical imaging Mining, gas Printer reduces barriers of bringing digital objects into reality Bridge digital divide around this technology

7 Will it work? Lets Find Out! Difficult to predict, so were not going to try Low cost overhead + free labour Had a good fit for deployment Dive in headfirst and see if theres water

8 Developing a 3D Printing Service Research began January 2012 Health and safety One of the first services of this kind Difficulty in finding relevant information Bought a Makerbot Replicator Hurry up and wait (for delivery) Troubleshooting and testing Deployment to Help Desk in Killam Learning Commons in June

9 Initial User Base Launch happened during summer Different campus environment Use by engineering and architecture students Engineering graduate students and their thesis projects Faculty of Architecture professor involvement Unexpected

10 Initial Reaction First time seeing 3D printing in a library Accessibility of the printer appreciated Cost was also well received $1 per hour Lots of questions Difficulty in bridging the gap between questions and use

11 Promoting the Service On campus promotions CBC interviews Presentations to various faculties Presentation at NSCAD Directly engaging students

12 Fall 2012 Semester User base continued growing Much higher usage from computer science students Usage from NSCC and NSCAD Still hard to attract students from other faculties

13 Change in User Base in Winter Steady use through Winter 2013 semester Increasingly used for school related projects Stronger interest from science departments like biology and chemistry Many questions

14 Change In The Broader Landscape While our own service grew and changed, so did everything else Devices Service offerings Users

15 Growing Popularity of 3D Printers in Libraries Last summer only a handful of libraries offered 3D printing Now there are close to 50 libraries Majority in United States (38 total) Public libraries are the most common providers 74% public libraries, 22% academic, 4% school

16 Expanding 3D Printing Industry Investment into 3D printing start-ups Cheaper 3D printers – Solidoodle Next generation Makerbot: Replicator 2 Optimized for PLA Cube 3D printers now sold in Staples

17 Wider Selection Growing variety of 3D printers to choose from $500 - $5000 range Different printing materials

18 3D Printers Popular in Libraries Replicator 2 Solid Doodle 2 RepRap and similar kits Mendel, Prusa, Ditto Stratasys

19 Ways Libraries Are Offering 3D Printing Consultation basis for many academic libraries Little to no web presence Demonstrations or demo sessions Tutorials for simple designs Rent the 3D printer itself Charge for plastic used

20 Adapting our own Service Purchase of two MakerBot Replicator 2s, two more coming. PLA plastic source in Montreal Wider variety of materials Transparent Glow-in the dark Nylon * Wood * Improvement in quality and consistency of pieces we can produce

21 Migrating to Replicator 2 Optimized for PLA Building board does not heat Importance of properly aligning platform each build Replicator 2 build quality problems Difficulty in using closed source MakerWare software

22 Process Overview Some changes in submission system Migration into ticket system Added documentation Plastic feeding modifications Benefit of being able to print multiple jobs Faster print times

23 Problems and Attempted Solutions by Libraries Hardware maintenance and software learning curves Makerspace environments Outside experts inside libraries Librarians attending makerspace events Classes in 3D design Time set aside for librarian/student consultations

24 Monthly Users and Submissions

25 New vs Repeat Users

26 Users by Faculty

27 User Created vs Download Models

28 Student vs Faculty Usage 98% student users Very few faculty users Faculty interest in engineering, computer science and architecture Links between this and developing user base

29 Engineering Projects RC Cars Robotics parts Test gears and motors Early stage prototypes Rings, necklaces, etc.

30 Bio-Medical Engineering Conversions of 3D models Visualization of human organs Early stage prototypes of new tools and products

31 Computer Science Students Arduino chip cases Robotics parts / gears Lots of experimenting Largely submissions of non-academic designs

32 Architecture Students Building models Self-designed Segments of cities GIS data conversion Google Earth

33 Local Business Users Dental molds Product prototypes Hockey skates Toys Building models GIS data visualization

34 Models from the 3D Model Repository Dalhousie Crest Dalhousie Engineering Logos Thomas McCulloch Museum

35 Its Been A Great Start 139 users, 271 model submissions Ongoing interest Including from a number of other libraries Service has matured Built local capacity Many challenges remain

36 How to Teach 3D Modelling Lots of questions around how to create models Or how to create printable models Open source software made available to students Instructions on how to do this explained at the Killam IT Help Desk

37 Current Plans Continued promotion Continue to develop relationships with existing users, especially non-traditional Offer basic 3D design tutorial used in training Expansion to other libraries (and more) Load sharing amongst sites

38 Developing Ideas Partnering with C@P sites to train and collaborate on new deployments 16 new printers going to all parts of Nova Scotia Combined, 20 deployed available to the public by the fall Three full-day training sessions Mailing list, shared knowledge base and more

39 Develop a Makerspace? Makerspace: essentially a community space for making things Commonly see open source hardware and software projects Arduino, Raspberry Pi, robotics Difficulty in bringing larger, noisier makerspace tools into a library setting The makers are already there, a 3D printer will reveal them quickly

40 Should we be doing this? A good amount of downloaded trinkets Operating a 3D printer is difficult due to early adoption No inroads with faculty yet Expectations. People want a perfect model Time intensive

41 Should we be doing this? Students are using it, Students are creating We were too early and it was awesome! Different disciplines are using it Building an awareness Building a literacy in emerging technology Were growing, demand is increasing

42 Should WE be doing this? YES!

43 Should YOU be doing this? It depends Requires capacity, time, effort If you build it, some will come, some wont Promotion will be needed, connecting the dots for patrons Technology is evolving, not evolved Cost is reasonable New kind of engagement Its awesome!

44 Questions?

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