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3D Printer Closing Digital Divide At Harford County Library

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Innovation takes off at a new high tech 3D lab at one Harford County public library.

Gigi Barnett explains how it's closing the digital divide.

Design it, print it and watch a 3D creation take life. This cutting edge technology is at the center of Harford County Public Library's brand new "Innovation Lab."

After a three month set up, the lab opened this week.

"It's fascinating. It's like, 'this thing is taking this and making that while I'm watching.' That's pretty cool," said Maurice Coleman, technical trainer.

That's been the reaction from most visitors who step inside the digital lab. Three-dimensional printers are fast becoming a part of daily life.

"Say you need a part on the International Space Station, they just 3D printed a wrench because they didn't have a wrench," said Coleman.

But the library wants visitors to take their wonder further and create for school or business.

"Wouldn't it be great to come in and do a prototype, have that in your hand and say, 'this is the really innovative product that I want to build and I'd like you to fund this," said Mary Hastler, Harford County Public Library CEO.

Hastler says the lab also breaks down the bridge of the digital divide.

"This is the next step in doing that and really brings sophisticated software, hardware and just a great opportunity for folks in the county," she said.

If you'd like to check out the Innovation Lab, but some of the high tech knowledge makes you a little fearful, the library says--no worries. It's going to offer classes for free.

"I think it's a great way to kind of ease into technology for people who maybe are kind of against it right now," said Rachel Amos, Innovation Lab guest.

The 3D lab also has a green screen and self publishing features. It was funded by a grant from Rosedale Federal Bank.

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