Emerging technologies

Mitigating the Real Dangers of 3D Printing

Lulzbot Taz 6

The current debate circling 3D printing guns and the arguments surrounding the assertion that “code is speech; speech is protected by the first amendment” represent an interesting point of clarification in our culture which will force us to redefine or reclassify words, ideas, and objects to make our language match our reality. In a world where speech/language can be machined into tangible objects, we must define an objective boundary for when an idea ceases to be “speech” as it becomes a physically tangible object. This isn’t gonna happen in a blog post, but — dear reader — feel free to send me book deal offers and I’ll see what I can do. Until we can come to a consensus on what type of information “code” is, we cannot constructively proceed down the rabbit hole that is this debate. (Is it speech? Is it protected? When does it stop becoming speech?…

Original Content

3D Printer Handyman’s Toolbox

On this site, we have discussed how 3D Printers can enhance various aspects of your library’s programming and how to create important partnerships for implementation. Indeed, 3D Printers can improve the library experience for all involved. However, what happens when that printer comes to a screeching/beeping halt? After two years of maintaining our printers, Makerbot Replicator 2 and Tinkerine Ditto Pro, and thanks to the kind donations of library patrons, I have assembled a toolbox that has eased daily maintenance and disassembly. The post is broken up into sections covering tools for the following aspects: Plate Fine Tuning Prints Gripping Disassembly Final Cost Each section also looks at pricing for these tools and alternatives. Tools for: Plate THE TAPE Not all of us can afford to wait for flexible platforms and we must make do with laying down some painter’s tape to ease the object removal. At first we would use standard-sized…

Original Content

What Do You Do With a 3D Printer?

This is the first in a series of posts about some technology I’ve introduced or will be introducing to my library. In my mind, the library is a place where the public can learn about new and emerging technologies without needing to invest in them. To that end, I’ve formed a technology committee at our library that will meet quarterly to talk about how we’re using the existing technology in the building and what type of technology we could introduce to the building. This next two paragraphs have some demographic information so that you have an idea of whom I’m trying to serve (i.e., you can skip them if you want to get to the meat of the technology discussion). I work at the Waukesha Public Library in the city of Waukesha, the 7th largest municipality in WI at around 72,000 people. We have a a service population of almost…