3D Laser Scanning at the Public Library

A new thing: 3D laser scanning

When I was a kid, I used to go to the library with my friends. We would sometimes just find a place to hang in a secluded corner to talk and joke around. Later in life, when studies got a bit more serious, we would be down to business working on a paper or some project that required some research. Sometimes through we would be just there for curiosity, looking at books that we were interested in. A few years down the road, library added a new feature to enjoy, and that was free internet access. When that started I would find myself looking much less time looking at books and more time in the internet. Nowadays, there is another new feature being added to the library scene, and that is 3D laser scanning services and also 3D printing.

for the average Joe

For the most part 3D laser scanning and 3D printing has been something somewhat restricted to the professionals. Big companies were the only ones who could afford scanners when 3D scanning just came out. Things get cheaper, though, with every new type of technology. When the first cell phone came out in the the 70’s the sticker price was nearly $4000. Now you can get a cheap phone for a fraction of that, and sometimes even free if you sign up for a plan. The same thing has happened with 3D scanning. They have come way down in price so that people can do enjoy 3D laser scanning services as a hobby.

easy access

What does this have to do with libraries, then?  Well, it turns out that, just as the internet has become freely accessible to the public through public libraries, so has 3D laser scanning and 3d printing. People no longer need to pay the money for a scanner, but instead, public tax dollars are being used to make these services available to everyone. In the Martin Luther King Junior library in New York you can find it happening. People there are lining up their items that they want printed using printers like the 3D Systems CubeX Trio. Soon to come also will be the option to have things scanned into digital form, and the printed. The downside is that the waiting time is quite long, so don’t think it will be fast. One may have to wait three to four weeks before they can get their item printed. This is because people are on the waiting list. So if you are in a hurry, you should skip the library and use paid 3D scanning services.

It is great that libraries now are making people knowledgeable about 3D scanning and printing technology. Some libraries maybe even have some classes offered where people can learn the basics of 3D laser scanning services. This is why libraries exist, to give us knowledge. This just goes to show that this knowledge doesn’t just to be restricted to books. The Chicago Public Library is also offering 3D printing services.  Who knows, maybe there is a public library near you who will soon be offering the same.

Keep reading: more articles about 3D scanning

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