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Sacramento Library Offering State-Of-The-Art 3-D Printer Use

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - Libraries have helped visitors open doors to the world of imagination but now one branch of the Sacramento Public Library is offering a chance to bring those images to life.

From the printing press to the printing plate, anything you can dream up, you can create with the desktop 3-D printer.

Librarian Lori Easterwood was barely old enough to drive when her childhood library began offering the internet.

"I was 15-years-old when I first saw the internet at the library. Now, 17 years later, I couldn't work without it," she said.

Now she is closing a chapter at the Arcade Community Branch Library's storied life as they begin printing another.

"What will it be like 17 years from now when 3-D printing might be everywhere?" Easterwood said.

Thanks to a $77,000 grant, the library branch can now offer more than just their 77,000 books. Readers can bring their imaginations from the page into the palm of their hand in just minutes.

"This is immediate. In 10-15 minutes, you can have a prototype of your design," said Easterwood.

And it's all done with the help of 'makers' like Bill Betz and Alan Ware.

"A maker is someone who can turn things into real, things that you can see," said Betz.

Library dreamers create designs on a computer, and through technology and a roll of plastic, imagination comes to life right before your eyes.

"How could somebody make this and you watch how it does it, that's learning. That's information that you're gaining," said Ware.

A plastic line is fed into the back of the printer, heated to 450 degrees, and then the printer begins its work. In seconds, it's cool to the touch and ready for wear, work or display.

The desktop printers cost about $2,500 each, and library staff are hoping to have a second set up by the end of the week.

The Arcade branch is the only library in the area offering this kind of technology; and classes are free.

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