Clearwater library offers free 3D printing service

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Have you ever watched something you dreamed of come to life? Now, Clearwater residents can take a small project they want to create to the library to print it out on a 3D printer there -- for free!

We all know that the 3D printer has changed the technology game in the local community and in small businesses.

The Innovation Studio at the Clearwater Library brought 3D printing to the city a few years ago, and it opened doors to creative thinking.

Library program specialist Keith Law believes that the 3D printer helps people become more comfortable with modern technology.

"As people are more comfortable with modern technology, one of the roots we chose was to offer a 3D printing service and that's actually what people do, is provide us with the model files of a 3D print and we will print it 3D for them," Law said.

He also said that there is no end to what kind of shapes the 3D printer can make; be it a model of a car, a spaceship, a boat or even a small piece such as a key fob or a name tag.

The Innovation Studio is all about problem solving too.

"If it's too big to print we can rotate it around or we want to print it a different way and finally that file is uploaded to the 3D printer and then you let it go," Law explained.

He shared his personal experience with the 3D printer.

"When I first heard about 3D printing, the first thing I thought was, 'this is a great way of replacing spare parts.' I'm sure everyone has experienced a thing where they bought something and then it's broken because a 10 cent piece of plastic is broken -- but the thing itself is OK."

As technology develops over time, the 3D printer is said to be the way of the future.

"The idea here is so people get to know about 3D printers and what they do and how they might be useful," Law said. "I think in the future everyone will have a 3D printer."

For more information about the Innovation Studio and the 3D printer, check out the Clearwater Public Library's website.