A handful of Oliver library patrons were left in awe last Friday when they were treated to a hi-tech magic show utilizing a 3D printer.
The library hosted technical assistants Heather Marnier and Seva Lynov who demonstrated a machine (MakerBot) that actually prints three-dimensional objects such as toys, tools and even body parts.
3D printing starts with a computer blueprint of an object you want to make. For example, Marnier and Lynov made a section of chain link using a spool of blue bio-plastic string that is fed through the printer, melts and creates the object in layers.
Oliver artist Leza Macdonald expressed an interest in buying one of these printers that cost approximately $3,000.
She was amazed to learn that a 3D printer can make a prosthetic arm for about $300, compared to thousands of dollars for a manufactured one.
Massive 3D printers in China are even making real, life-size houses (reportedly 10 in one day).