August 10, 2020

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3-D Printers, Virtual Reality Available at Library

3-D Printer

Because of the generosity of the Friends of the St. Mary’s County Library, 3-D Printers and Virtual Reality equipment are now available for use.

The St. Mary’s County Library now has two 3-D printers, 3-D pens, three Cricut Makers, and two Oculus Rift S.

The 3-D printers are Prusa I3 MK3S printers, which that PLA filament. The library provides black, white, transparent, blue, red, and yellow filament. Members of the public are welcome to submit designs for print via the library website. Designs need to be .stl format and cannot exceed 15MB. The library also will sometimes offer classes for various age groups to introduce the public to 3-D printing and learn basic design principles.

The first 3-D printer has already been set up at the Leonardtown Library. The second will be available soon to watch and submit designs for at the Lexington Park Library. If more funding becomes available, a third 3-D printer will be purchased for the Charlotte Hall Library. 3-D printing is provided free of charge, but the library asks for a donation to buy filament and keep the service available.

In addition to the 3D printers, the library also bought 10 3-D pens, which extrude heated plastic from the pen’s nozzle. These pens don’t require any software, there are no files to transfer, and no difficult technology to master. Check for upcoming events at the three library locations to try out this fun technology.

The library also bought three Cricut Maker machines. The Cricut Maker is perfect for all crafting needs, cutting hundreds of materials quickly and accurately, from the most delicate fabric and paper to matte board and leather. Before the end of the year, there will be a Cricut Maker at each library location available for public use.

Library patrons will need to sign up for a one-on-one appointment to learn how to use the machine and to become certified. Once certified, they will then be able to sign up to use the machine free of charge. Cricut users will need to provide their own materials.

This fall at Leonardtown Library, register for the Cricut for Beginners class on Oct. 16, 2019, or come by for one of the drop-in sessions in November. Attendance at the class or a drop-in session can count toward getting certified as a Cricut user.

The Oculus Rift S is Oculus VR’s most advanced PC-powered virtual reality headset. The library has bought two Oculus Rift S; watch for opportunities to try the machines at various events at the libraries throughout the year. Experiences include space exploration, world travel, games like Beat Saber and Job Simulator, stories, dinosaur encounters, art and creative encounters, and more.

“We so appreciate the generosity of the Friends of the St. Mary’s County Library,” said Laura Boonchaisri, marketing and communications coordinator, in a news release. “Without their wonderful donation, we wouldn’t have been able to purchase all of this technology for our customers to use. We have already seen great interest in the soft launch of the 3D printing service at Leonardtown Library. Customers love to come in and see what’s printing! The Oculus Rift S has also been a hit! It’s an out-of-this-world experience; I encourage everyone to watch for the events coming up with virtual reality. We can’t wait to have public use of the Cricuts later this year. The Cricut is a machine often used for small businesses or crafters that is a bit cost prohibitive for an individual to purchase. We hope having one available to use at the Library will be a helpful and popular option.”

“In a recent community survey, we saw lots of interest in providing new technology for County residents to discover and learn from,” added Michael Blackwell, director, in the news release. “We’re grateful to our Friends for the funding that has made it possible.”

To learn more about Lexington Park, visit the St. Mary’s County Community Development Corporation’s Leader member page.

St. Mary’s County Community Development Corporation

46940 South Shangri-La Drive, Suite 7

Lexington Park, MD 20653


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