UNR Science Library First in Nation to Offer 3D Printing
A science and engineering library at the University of Nevada has become the first academic library in the nation to offer 3D printing.
The DeLaMare Science and Engineering Library will offer the service along with scanning to all students. The public can use the service as well.
"We've brought the technology out of the lab and into access for all students," Tod Colegrove, director of the DeLaMare library, said. "It's a first for universities around the country where the machines are typically part of a specialized program or research lab."
Using specialized software, the machine builds a three-dimensional plastic model from computerized drawings.
"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," Colegrove said. "Printers remain largely inaccessible to students and faculty outside of a select few. We've changed that."
"In the arts, sciences and engineering, breakthroughs in learning or research often require going beyond pencil and paper," he said. "With technology and a supportive environment, it becomes possible to breathe life into ideas – in the library. We have a waiting list for projects, which can take anywhere from 40 minutes to 40 hours, depending on the complexity.
"Our first job – a rotor for an impeller pump being prototyped by a team of senior engineering students – came in literally as we were pulling the printer out of the box. The machines haven't stopped running since."
Written by Kellene Stockwell
(The University of Nevada contributed to this report.)