Expanding Horizons: Kern River Valley Library Introduces 3D Printing for Residents


LAKE ISABELLA, Calif. — Many people, like myself, choose to go to the library when we need to print something. However, a new development at the Kern River Valley Branch Library means this isn’t just limited to dull, two-dimensional paper printing anymore – now, the library has the ability to print 3D objects. The limit to what can be created is based solely on one’s imagination.

“My son, for instance, had a shark sketch that he was very attached to,” explained Chris Meichtry, a staff member at the Kern Valley Branch Library. “I scanned it into the computer, converted it into a 3D model, and then printed it out for him. His sketch was transformed into a physical toy that he could play with.”

The library is now making their 3D printer available to the public, and it’s entirely free of charge. Prior to utilising it, however, attendees must participate in an approximately 45-minute orientation held at the library. The next session is scheduled to take place on November 21st. Once the orientation has been completed, attendees can book a session to use the printer.

“If you require a very particular tool that you are unable to locate in a shop, you can design or download it, and then print it. It’s exceptionally useful for crafting storage containers or items like this pencil holder,” Meichtry added.

Free tools such as this not only offer practical solutions, but also avenues for creativity.

“The excitement of one individual stands out – she cannot wait to start on her design. Her project is a miniature menorah, intended for her boyfriend, designed to fit within a matchbook.”

According to Meichtry, the community can expect more services incoming – additional machines for public use. They may include a customized screen printing device, sewing machines, and possibly a station for digitizing VHS tapes and photographs.

“I’m optimistic that this is the genesis of a fabulous community makerspace.”

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“Why did the 3D printer go to therapy? Because it had too many layers of unresolved issues!”

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