3D Printing in Donabate

Fingal Libraries
by Fingal Libraries on January 3, 2017.

We have an Ultimaker 3D printer in Donabate Library!  It is truly an amazing piece of equipment; so simple and yet capable of producing three dimensional object so exact and precise in their detail.  In one way it is a simple machine.  The printing material – in this case plastic – is fed through a […]

We have an Ultimaker 3D printer in Donabate Library!  It is truly an amazing piece of equipment; so simple and yet capable of producing three dimensional object so exact and precise in their detail.  In one way it is a simple machine.  The printing material – in this case plastic – is fed through a tube and melted on to a glass plate in very thin layers to build up the design.  The position of the material is controlled by the movements of an x and y axis, and the printing base acts as the y axis, moving downwards as the design builds.  Designs can be chosen or developed using websites such as Thingiverse or Tinkercad, so you don’t need to be a programmer.

3D printers are already being used to print teeth and bones and aircraft parts; not with the same materials obviously!  But still, it has become an essential element of construction and design of the past few years.  It has many advantages over traditional methods.  Take for example aircraft parts; if you have a part made out of a solid piece of metal it is going to be considerably heavier that the same part made in a 3D printer.  This is because of the way the printer can make a shape which is both strong and light using a cross hatched centre inside the solid exterior of an object.  It is increasing being used in medicine and engineering and its use will continue to grow in the areas both of industry and leisure.

Here in Donabate Library we love using it because it’s great fun.  Both staff and the public have been printing out everything from Christmas decorations and jewellery to football club crests and statues.  Come in to the library and have a look, and you might even decide to print something!

By Lesley Kavanagh, Donabate Library

For further info. email [email protected] or phone 01-8905609 or click here for the opening hours of Donabate Library