With the grant, the Digital Media Commons in Jackson Library will expand its multi-media support services to include 3D printing through purchase of a “Replicator 2” 3D printer from Makerbot Industries. 3D printing is the process of making a physical object from a digital file - enabling rapid prototyping of design concepts and functional, working models.
A handful of libraries, including NC State’s Hunt Library, have devoted resources to “makerspaces”, with 3D printing as a flagship service. Makerspaces are promoting creation and research by providing users with access to materials, technology and community resources. This purchase introduces the concepts and processes associated with makerspaces into the Library, promoting growth of new ideas and improving cross-curricular educational elements with existing library methodologies.
This service will broaden the reach and scope of our services to include students who are not currently working with digital video or audio technologies. It also expands the University Libraries’ capacity to provide multi-media instruction and design for hard sciences, math and art, for example.