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

Footwork and fundamentals: minor basketball classes return to Prince Rupert

The next generation of basketball talent is getting started on the game’s keys to success

Uncertain future for KAPS location and rent as McKay housing gets redeveloped

Affordable housing units in Prince Rupert to be revitalized by BC Housing

New museum exhibit in Prince Rupert to highlight nature’s influence on technology

Travelling exhibit made possible through federal funding via Museums Assistance Program

Rampage ready for new CIHL season

Puck drops Saturday at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre

STORY, PHOTOS & VIDEO: Brand new wrestling mats on display at Charles Hays

Team no longer has to grapple with hard surfacing and soreness thanks to generous donations

VIDEO: What does PRMS want? Climate action. When do they want it? Now.

Kids in Prince Rupert march to city hall in support of Fridays for Future, a global climate protest

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Takaya, B.C.’s intriguing lone wolf, seen eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

Resident finds loaded shotgun inside a duffle bag in Kelowna alleyway

RCMP seized a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition, clothing and other items

Graffiti, calls and Snapchat: RCMP probe string of threats targeting Kamloops schools

There have been nine different threats made to four different schools in the city

Most Read