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Grote Street Library launches the first 3D printers accessible to everyone

In a South Australian first, a new Innovation Lab, complete with two state-of-the-art 3D printers, will be launched this Friday at the Grote Street Library.

The Lab includes laptops loaded with digital design software that communicate with the state-of-the-art MakerBot Replicator 3D printer and the UP Plus 3D printer.

The MakerBot and the UP Plus can be fed roles of plastic and can turn designs into actual three dimensional objects.

Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood, who will be opening the Lab, says “to give the community the chance to work with cutting edge technology is a real coup for Adelaide”.

Based on the already successful program at Fayetteville Free Library in New York, the new Innovation Lab provides a safe and accessible space where everyone in the community can interact, understand, develop and create through technology.

“Library staff and other expert technicians will be on hand to show people how to use the technology.

“Schools can come into the city and try out this technology, giving them a glimpse into what’s possible now through technology and where that might go in the future,” he said.

“There isn’t a facility like this that’s as accessible anywhere else in South Australia and it’s a free service so come and give it a try,” said Stephen.

There are plans for the program to evolve using a peer education model where advanced users can teach others what they have learnt, aligning with the Federal Government’s Digital Literacy Strategy.

“Libraries have always been places for people to try new technologies before they incorporate them into their own homes,” said Library Research and Digital Project Officer, Katherine Shaw.

“The Innovation Lab is a place where they can use this technology, which is usually only found in Universities and state-of-the-art organisations.”

The Innovation Lab is an integral part of the Adelaide City Council’s Digital Hub and Enterprise program plan for 2012 – 2015 and provides a space where the community can experiment and work collaboratively to create content and objects.

Objects that can be reproduced through this technology include a whistle, complete with movable internal ball and a model car with wheels that turn.  

For further information and to take a look at the Innovation Lab, head to the Grote Street Library at 18 Grote Street, open Monday to Thursday 10am–6pm, Friday 10 am–8pm and Saturday 11am–3pm.

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