3D Printing and Virtual Reality at St. Mary’s County Library!
The Friends of the St. Mary’s County Library have donated funds to purchase 3D printers, Cricuts and Oculus Rift S.
August 20, 2019 – Leonardtown, Md. – The St. Mary’s County Library, through a generous donation from the Friends of the St. Mary’s County Library, now has two 3D printers, 3D pens, three Cricut Makers, and two Oculus Rift S.
The two 3D printers are Prusa I3 MK3S printers that use PLA filament. The Library provides several colors of filament including black, white, transparent, blue, red, and yellow. The public is welcome to submit designs for print via the Library website (www.stmalib.org). Designs should be .stl format and cannot exceed 15MB. The Library will also be occasionally holding classes for various age groups to introduce the public to 3D printing and learn basic design principles. The first 3D printer is already set up at Leonardtown Library. Come by and see it in action today! The second printer will soon be available to watch and submit designs for at Lexington Park Library. If additional funding becomes available, a third 3D printer will be purchased for Charlotte Hall Library. 3D printing is provided free of charge, though the Library asks for a donation to purchase filament and keep the service going.
In addition to the 3D printers, the Library purchased ten 3D pens. A 3D pen is a pen that extrudes heated plastic from the pen's nozzle. 3D pens don't need any software, there are no files to transfer, and no difficult tech to master. Watch for upcoming events at the three Library locations to try out this fun tech.
The Library also purchased three Cricut Maker machines. The Cricut Maker is the perfect machine for all of your crafting needs – this machine cuts hundreds of materials quickly and accurately, from the most delicate fabric and paper to mat board and leather. By late this year, there will be one Cricut Maker at each Library location available for the public to use. Members of the public will need to sign up for a one-on-one appointment to receive instructions on how to use the machine and to become certified. Once certified, they will then be able to sign up to use the machine free of cost. Cricut users will need to provide their own materials. The Library is in the process of training staff on the machine, and will have the Cricuts out for public use by the end of the year. This fall at Leonardtown Library register for the Cricut for Beginners class on October 16, or come by for one of the drop in sessions in November. Attendance at the class or a drop in session can count towards becoming certified as a Cricut user.
The Oculus Rift S is Oculus VR's most advanced PC-powered virtual reality headset. The Library has purchased 2 Oculus Rift S; watch for opportunities to try the Oculus Rift S at various events at the Library locations throughout the year. Experiences include space exploration, games such as Beat Saber and Job Simulator, dinosaur encounters, stories, art and creative encounters, world travel, and more.
“We so appreciate the generosity of the Friends of the St. Mary’s County Library,” said Laura Boonchaisri, Marketing and Communications Coordinator. “Without their wonderful donation, we wouldn’t have been able to purchase all of this technology for our customers to use. We have already seen great interest in the soft launch of the 3D printing service at Leonardtown Library. Customers love to come in and see what’s printing! The Oculus Rift S has also been a hit! It’s an out-of-this-world experience; I encourage everyone to watch for the events coming up with virtual reality. We can’t wait to have public use of the Cricuts later this year. The Cricut is a machine often used for small businesses or crafters that is a bit cost prohibitive for an individual to purchase. We hope having one available to use at the Library will be a helpful and popular option.”
“In a recent community survey, we saw lots of interest in providing new technology for County residents to discover and learn from,” added Michael Blackwell, Director. “We’re grateful to our Friends for the funding that has made it possible.”