by General Fabb
The University of Nevada, Reno has done something we haven't seen before: place advanced 3D equipment in their academic library providing access to all.
Before the days of color inkjet printers at home and Kinko's, some used to go to the local library to run off copies of documents. Now the DeLaMare Science and Engineering Library has taken that concept to the world of 3D by placing 3D scanning and printing equipment in their facility. It appears they're using a BFB 3D Touch printer in the image above.
The equipment is used by student who wish to bring their ideas into physical form, such as models of molecules, engineering parts, etc.
This is not the first appearance of 3D printing gear on campus, but it is with a difference. According to library director Tod Colegrove:
3D printers are typically purchased by a faculty member with grant funds in support of a particular research project, and installed in isolated departmental locations. Printers remain largely inaccessible to students and faculty outside of a select few. We've changed that.
We think this could be a cue to other libraries, who should consider installing similar equipment.