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UPEI’s 3D printer is accessible to students, staff, general public

Jean Paul Poirier shows some of the items he’s made from the 3D printer at UPEI’s Robertson Library. While the most common creations he makes are cars, he has also created a keychain of the Vegas Golden Knights logo and doll pieces for his wife.
Jean Paul Poirier shows some of the items he’s made from the 3D printer at UPEI’s Robertson Library. While the most common creations he makes are cars, he has also created a keychain of the Vegas Golden Knights logo and doll pieces for his wife. - Mitch MacDonald

The 3D printer at UPEI’s Robertson Library has generated a lot of interest from students, faculty members and the general public in its first year.

The printer was introduced to the library about a year ago and opened to the public last October in a project that was headed by library technician Keltie MacPhail and Yolanda Hood, who is the metaliteracy and student engagement librarian.

MacPhail said Jean Paul Poirier is probably one of the most frequent users of the printer, a FlashForge Creator Pro, although she noted it has seen a lot of general interest especially when it was first introduced.

“Some students have gotten really into it and they come back time and time again.”

Keltie MacPhail

“Some students have gotten really into it and they come back time and time again,” said MacPhail, adding the usage among students has seemed to slow down during exams and in the summer.

3D printing uses a digital model to create a physical object and has become much more accessible in recent years.

The library has also previously offered workshops open to anyone to introduce them to 3D printing.

“We will be hopefully offering some of those again. We’re not sure what they’ll look or when they’ll be,” said MacPhail, who advised anyone interested to keep an eye on the library’s social media accounts.

RELATED: P.E.I. man uses 3D printing as personal form of rehab after having a stroke

The printer is first come, first serve. There is a small fee to cover maintenance of the machine and printing supplies.

Because of the lengthy print times, which usually last several hours and can even be overnight, MacPhail said those interested should call ahead or stop into the library to see if the printer is being used and when approximately when prints are scheduled to be completed.

She added rules and regulations around the printer could change in the future. More details are at Library.upei.ca/3dprinting.


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