Benbrook Library / Library services

Poly Want to Print Stuff


I’m no linguist, wordsmith, or lexicographer, but even this non-polyglot knows the prefix poly means “many” or “much.” That tells me our newest toy, the PolyPrinter, is meant for much 3D printing, which is fortuitous, because that’s precisely what we’re going to do with it…as soon as we learn how to use it. It arrived two days ago, so we’ve just barely gotten our feet wet (or our filament warm, if you will). We still have lots to learn, but that’s not gonna stop us from letting you play with it. I’ve helped three people print on the PP (perhaps not the best nickname) so far, and despite setup being a bit more complex, from what I’ve seen in my limited experience, the speed and quality of printing seem to be superior to our incumbent printer, the MakerBot Replicator 2. Here’s a video of it in warp speed, time lapse action.

If you’d like to have the PolyPrinter do your building bidding, you have a few options. For those who aren’t really designer types and just want to see the machine do its thang, which is admittedly pretty awesome on its own, just download a completed design from Thingiverse, bring it to the library on a flash drive, and we’ll help you with the printing part. For those feeling zesty enough to create your own design from scratch, try your hand at a free CAD program like Tinkercad, FreeCAD, or Blender.

Maybe you’ve got sufficient zest, but the idea of 3D modeling intimidates you. Don’t worry your little three-dimensional head, because every Wednesday in July at 6:30 PM, the library is offering classes on designing your own creations in Blender. Attendees will learn the basics and the not-so-basics of the Blender software, design their own derby car, print it out, and pit it against other designers’ Frankencars in a climactic, low-stakes race for glory. The classes are open to all ages, and while no registration is required, we do have a limited number of computers available, so either arrive early or bring your own laptop to ensure yourself a seat.

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