Prince Rupert Public Library staff wanted to give Rupertites the chance to try the new technology themselves. (Keili Bartlett / The Northern View)

Bringing imagination to life with a 3D printer

Prince Rupert Public Library’s 3D printer is open to all after a free tutorial

Books, magazines… a 3D printer?

Technology isn’t always the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a library, but the latest addition to the Prince Rupert Public Library cuts against the grain.

The staff checked in their 3D printer several months ago and taught themselves how to use the new technology, including learning about computer-assisted design. Now, anyone can take the free tutorial session held at the library.

“It gives you the opportunity to let your imagination create something real that hasn’t been done before, depending on how creative you are,” chief librarian Joe Zelwietro said.

The process and outcome can be simple or very complex, depending on what the user wants to create. Some pieces need custom digital files or external support to act as scaffolding, while other designs are available pre-made online.

“You don’t know it until you do it and it screws up. If you get your design online, someone else might have already done your learning for you,” Zelwietro said.

So far, people in Rupert have created whistles, toys and props for role-playing games with the library’s printer. Zelwietro said they acquired the machine for a number of reasons.

“On one hand, just the novelty of a new technology. Secondly, it allows people — especially people who like do-it-yourself — to create custom designed structures for their own enjoyment, that they may not be able to buy from the store.”

Although such printers have slowly gone down in price since they first hit the market, they are still quite pricey. Like much of the library’s resources, having a 3D printer on hand allows people to use technology that they would not ordinarily have access to, and it helps with computer literacy, Zelwietro said.

“Any type of literacy is always our priority,” said the long-time librarian.

READ MORE: 3D printer will use ‘bioink’ to create brain tissue

The demonstrations hosted by the Prince Rupert Public Library have gone well, with approximately 15 to 20 people attending. Before anyone can use the machine, they must have attend one of the tutorials. The equipment, Zelwietro said, is hands-on and the library doesn’t want anyone to get injured by the sometimes hot materials.

There’s no cost for the tutorial, and the library only asks for the cost of the supplies — at 25 cents per gram of filament — to be paid by the user. Depending on the size of the project, Zelwietro said it will likely add up to a dollar or two at the most.

Zelwietro said he hopes people will start to come in with their own project ideas.

“That they learn that they can create something from their own imagination, that they get interested in some types of technology and want to take it further.”

READ MORE: Heart of Our City — Andrea Wilmot is an open book


 


keili.bartlett@thenorthernview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

After a free tutorial at the Prince Rupert Public Library, anyone is welcome to use the 3D printer. (Keili Bartlett / The Northern View)

Just Posted

Rupert Runners share memories of beloved volunteer Leslie Peloquin

Distance runner Peloquin was a Learn to Run coach in Prince Rupert for years, inspiring many

‘Ruff week over for canine owners as Prince Rupert dog park reopens

McKay Street dog park was temporarily closed for repairs after a car crashed into fence

Prince Rupert marine business adds second catamaran to its fleet

100-passenger Aurora was launched this year for the Rio Tinto Kemano tunnel project

Sustainble economy flourishing in Haida Gwaii and Great Bear Rainforest thanks to First Nations investments

From 2008-2018, funding initiatives led to more than $286 million in new investments

Prince Rupert students prove themselves up to code

The Sphero Olympics put local youngsters tech talents on display

Federal cabinet ministers visit Edmonton, Calgary, in wake of TMX approval

Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi is set to visit Trans Mountain Corp.’s terminal in Edmonton

B.C. municipality prepares to forbid overnight camping by homeless despite court ruling

While courts have ruled against blanket bans, Langley City is employing a site-by-site approach

B.C. auditor says Indigenous grad rate highest ever but education gaps exist

The percentage of Indigenous students graduating from B.C. public high schools has hit its highest level ever

Statistics Canada reports annual pace of inflation rises in May to 2.4%

Transportation prices gained 3.1 per cent as the cost of air transportation added 8.9 per cent

Rich U.S. donors fund anti-oil activism, meeting hears

Much of the organized opposition to oil and gas development in Canada… Continue reading

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Most Read