Discover step-by-step guidance on setting up a 3D printer program at your library. Empower patrons with hands-on learning experiences!
Move up

How to set up a 3D Printer Program at a Library?

Discover step-by-step guidance on setting up a 3D printer program at your library. Empower patrons with hands-on learning experiences!
How to set up a 3D Printer Program at a Library?

3D printer programs at the library: getting set up for success

One of the first public libraries in the US was the Boston Public Library. Founded in 1848, it was the first large free municipal library in the United States.

Libraries have changed over the years. Traditionally, they served to share books and lend them to people interested in reading, whether for fun, work, or education. Benjamin Franklin founded a public subscription library in the 1700s, intending to benefit common people who otherwise would not have access to books.

In recent years libraries have expanded their offerings to include far more than could have ever been imagined when they were first started.

Expanded offerings at modern libraries: How to set up a 3D Printer Program at a Library?

Many libraries now offer toys for children to check out. Toys are recognized as helping with child development, and by offering them for both educational and recreational purposes, many families have access to more than they would likely be able to afford.

And there are tool libraries too. Many cities have programs that allow citizens to borrow gardening equipment, specialized small kitchen appliances, and even automotive diagnostic or repair tools. These are excellent for people who want to test a tool before they buy one for themselves, or who only need it for a one-time use and don't need to buy their own.

And of course, the libraries we are really interested in are the ones that offer 3D printing, or even have a full makerspace. Many libraries now have dedicated areas equipped with tools and materials for sewing, woodworking, and digital fabrication.

It’s no small feat to set up a library makerspace. However, we are in makerspaces all the time, and these are some best practices we've seen when you're getting set up to provide 3D printing at your library.

Balancing access, control, and time

A library that provides 3D printing has to balance giving access to users, with a measure of control. Some users will be more experienced, while some will be brand new to the process.

This is what our clients have found when they use 3DPrinterOS to manage their library makerspace 3D printers.

The 3D printing process becomes simpler for users of all skill levels. Libraries can provide access to the platform to their patrons, meaning that their members can easily submit 3D models for printing. 

Because 3DPrinterOS is so accessible and has such an intuitive user interface, 3D printing is more likely to be adopted. Library members don't have to understand how each different type of 3D printer works, because 3DPrinterOS runs them all on the same platform.

It also makes it much faster for library staff to manage the 3D print queue. They can monitor the status of each print and make sure that the 3D printers are used correctly. It means library staff can handle multiple requests at the same time, which means less wait time and happier library members!

Being able to monitor 3D printers remotely is also a big deal for libraries. This is specially useful for library staff who might need to manage 3D printers that are located in different parts of the library, or even in different branches.

Of course, a public library is rightly concerned about safety and security in 3D printing. With 3DPrinterOS, library staff can review and approve print jobs before printing, making sure that projects are appropriate for a public setting.

Increasing 3D print success by deploying a library 3D print software

Users love 3DPrinterOS too - it's not only for the library staff! With its excellent slicer and print preview, it minimizes human error and increases the success rate. And being fully integrated with Tinkercad, it couldn't be easier for both beginners and advanced users.

Libraries are having a positive impact on communities around the globe, by providing tools and equipment that would otherwise be out of reach for so many people.

Some of the libraries we've seen include high-tech digital media labs, giving access to computers, software, and equipment for audio, video, and graphic design. Library patrons get to work on digital projects, from podcasts and videos to digital art and animations.

If you haven't checked them out recently, take a look at new offerings at your library. You may be surprised to find a lot more than just books there! Benjamin Franklin would be proud.

This is an exciting time to be part of the maker movement. We love that we have a small part to play in it.

And as you set up your own library 3D printing program, be free to ask us for a demo on how 3DPrinterOS can contribute to your library's success.

Rene-Oscar Ariko
VP of Global Sales

Read our other posts

3DPrinterOS Logo
What to Expect From Our 3D Printer Fleet Software

Learn more about 3DPrinterOS - the most trusted 3D printing management software for Higher Education, Enterprises and OEMs. Fill out this form to get in touch with our experts.

Quick and easy setup

Book your personalized assessment now and get your free trial.

Thank you! One of our representatives will get in touch as soon as possible.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.