New printer gives Shetland Library an extra dimension

A three-dimensional printer is the latest bit of digital technology to be added to the services provided by Shetland Library.

The gadget allows people to print three-dimensional objects – but it does not come without its challenges.

Sven Thomson from Weisdale with the 3D printer. Photo: SIC
Sven Thomson from Weisdale with the 3D printer. Photo: SIC

David Thomson from the library said: “These printers are great tools and it is fascinating to watch intricate objects materialise before your eyes. The technology has already been adopted by designers and architects and is increasingly being used for specialist manufacturing, by the medical profession and in education. As the technology improves, 3D printers will be able to do more and more.

“It is also important to understand that there are limitations to what can be made with our printer, which can use a small range of materials. Items can only be made as big as the space within the printer and creating a high-quality 3D design in a usable digital format is a challenge. So far, most of our objects have been downloaded from the web”.

Anyone who has an idea for a 3D printing project should contact David at the library.

The 3D printer and handheld object scanner have been supplied by the Scottish Libraries and Information Council, with funding from the Scottish government. This funding has made it possible for every library service in Scotland to receive a 3D printer for the use and benefit of the public.

It can be seen most days until Christmas in the foyer of the main library, hard at work making sample objects or items for customers.


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