The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

By Mark Fisher

3D printing at the Library

Lost in the Stars


October 27, 2018

Photo provided

One of the new 3D printers at the Tehachapi Library.

The Tehachapi Library has two new 3D printers. These were donated by the Greater Tehachapi Economic Development Council, along with several spools of the plastic filament that these 3D printers use. These are not yet available for the general public to use, since there are details still needed on the process to be in place for people to come in and use them. (They have to work through the bureaucracy.) But it's only a matter of time for that to be worked out.

For now the library is providing workshops for people interested in learning about using 3D printers. The first workshop let users create a small key chain fob with their name or initials. The second one provided instructions on how to print a cookie cutter. Now it was a very simple cookie cutter (a heart or a star) but that's always how you start to learn new things, by doing simple things first. After that you can work your way up to more complex things.

The next workshop is expected to be for a more complex design, though still using basic shapes, maybe something like a snowman for the holidays. Given the workshop's appeal to people of very different ages, upcoming workshops will probably be set up for different age groups. Keep in mind that these workshops are getting popular, so if you're interested sign up with the library early as they are likely to fill up.

But say you're not particularly interested in cookies. (I know, that's hard to imagine.) Then keep in mind that the same knowledge can be applied to other hobbies. In exploring the Internet sites devoted to 3D printing, I've found people have used 3D printers to make tools for themselves such as a pocket screw jug for wood working. Others use 3D printers to create HO scale models for their model trains. Until you look into it you don't really have an idea of what questions you can even ask.

So keep your eyes open for information on the next 3D printing workshop. You might be able to do something you'd never dreamed of.

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