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How 3D Printing Works

Submitted by Jason Griffey on October 29, 2014 - 9:04am

Editor's Note: This is the first of a series of posts excerpted from Jason Griffey's Library Technology Report "3D Printers for Libraries."

The simplest way to understand a 3D printer works is to imagine it as a machine that makes bigger things out of smaller blocks. In some cases the “blocks” are a powder, in some they are melted plastic, or they may be a ultraviolet light sensitive resin, but always the process is large things being made from smaller substrates. A 3D printer is a simple sort of robot that understands how to manipulate the raw material it’s working with in three dimensions rather than just two, as an inkjet or laser printer does. This type of manufacturing is also called additive manufacturing, as opposed to more traditional subtractive manufacturing, where material is removed from a larger sample to create custom shapes in a process like milling, lathing, or CNC (computing numerical control) machines.   Read More »

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Library Technology Reports

Social Media Curation

Social media allows you to scale up a core librarian practice—connecting your community to information and learning--across geographic boundaries, 24/7.  Addressing “curation” as the term is used colloquially, this issue of Library Technology Reports draws from 17 in-depth interviews to show how libraries are using social media to collect, organize, share, and interpret—in short, how to tell a digital story to a specific audience.  Additionally the authors use data, collected through an online survey that encompassed all library types, to offer a snapshot of this important “collecting-connecting-curating-contributing” practice. Also included is an annotated directory covering 66 tools for social media curation, organized by category with links to the websites.  Read More »

Smart Libraries Newsletter

October 2014


Smarter Libraries through Technology

Though a smaller number of library technology products are available today compared to a decade or two ago, the business and development models span a wider range. In the past, more companies were offering more products, but often with little differentiation. Each of the different approaches in play today seems to offer advantages and disadvantages, which will be validated over time.
--Marshall Breeding

In this issue:
  • Kuali OLE Now in Production
  • Kuali Shifts to a Commercial Business Model