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Library users enabled to print 3D objects

Sven Thomson from Weisdale with Shetland Library's new 3D printer.

SHETLAND Library is adding 3D printing to its array of digital services, allowing members of the public to try out printing various different objects.

A 3D printer and handheld object scanner has been supplied by the Scottish Libraries and Information Council (SLIC) thanks to funding from the Scottish Government. Every public library in Scotland is receiving one as part of a £76,000 project.

David Thomson of Shetland Library said: “These printers are great tools and it is fascinating to watch intricate objects materialize before your eyes.

“The technology has already been adopted by designers and architects, and is increasingly being used for specialist manufacturing, by the medial 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, or who wants to find out more about the subject, should contact David at the library or drop in to one of the regular Click IT advice sessions which run from 10am-11am every Tuesday.

The new printer can be seen most days between now and Christmas in the foyer of the main library, hard at work making sample objects or items for customers.