Boise Library Helping Visitors Take 3D Print Technology to Next Level 

click to enlarge 3-D Printing Design: 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9, in the Main Library’s third floor Marion Bingham Room. - EMILY PETERS
  • Emily Peters
  • 3-D Printing Design: 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9, in the Main Library’s third floor Marion Bingham Room.


The Boise Public Library is ready to take its 3-D printers—and its patrons—to the next level.

“It’s been said that 3-D printers will be in every home in the next five years,” said Heidi Lewis, the Boise Public Library's 3-D guru. “People also assume that everyone has a computer, but at the public library we know that’s not true. It’s extremely important for us to provide computers for the public, for a variety of reasons, and I think in the future we’ll want and need to provide 3-D printers for similar reasons.”

Lewis, who has been introducing the cutting-edge technology to hundreds of visitors for the past year and a half, helps run a program called 3-D Thursdays, in which adults and teens are invited to print something for free.

On Tuesday, June 9, the Boise Public Library will be hosting a workshop where it will put the power of 3-D design, as well as printing, into the hands of its visitors.

click to enlarge 3-D Printing Design: 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9, in the Main Library’s third floor Marion Bingham Room. - EMILY PETERS
  • Emily Peters
  • 3-D Printing Design: 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9, in the Main Library’s third floor Marion Bingham Room.
"The 3-D Printing: Intro to Design workshop will be different than what we normally offer," said Lewis. "3-D Thursdays, the primary way we offer use of the 3-D printers to the public at this time, are in some ways focused more on the 3-D printers. Customers usually download files from thingiverse.com, or bring in a file they’ve designed at home, to print and the printing is really the thing. The workshop next week is not going to be about the printers but about the designing of items to be printed.”

Lewis told Boise Weekly that she hopes the workshop will encourage people to make new connections with the library and its technology, which includes three 3-D printers. 

“I want them to know that you don’t have to be an engineer or a design major to create something," she said. "That knowledge—those skills you develop as you work through a user-friendly 3-D modeling software like tinkercad.com—are powerful.”
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