3D printing becomes reality at Stettler Public Library

The Stettler Library is making use of its new 3D printer through workshops for the public.

Over the weekend, a group of people went to the library to learn how to use the 3D design program, TinkerCAD. Once their designs were complete, library staff converted them to be printed by the 3D printer.

“The biggest stumbling block is thinking in 3D,” said Elaine Hoekstra, program coordinator at the library. “We’ve only had our printer since the end of February, beginning of March, so just trying to play with the programs and have it so patrons have the ability to create something of their own. It’s like Lego building on a screen.”

Currently, if library patrons are interested in designing and printing a 3D object, they can do so free-of-charge.

“We’re waiting to see how big projects become,” said Hoekstra, on the possibility of introducing a cost for the 3D printing. “We haven’t printed enough to find out what that could be.”

She added the purpose of having the 3D printer available for use is to create a space for people to explore and be creative.

“Having the technology that isn’t readily accessible to everybody gives them the opportunity to dabble with it,” said Hoekstra. “The library gives you the opportunity to explore a whole bunch of things that, in this world, we don’t know where it’s going.”