ALA TechSource Logo

ala-online-v1.jpg

 
curve Home spacer Publications spacer Subscribe spacer Blog spacer About  
    

App Learning for Librarians

Submitted by Patrick Hogan on January 23, 2015 - 2:06pm

Nicole Hennig would love to see more librarians reviewing apps.

“Have you noticed how uniformed many of the app-store reviews are?” she asks readers of her recent Library Technology Report "Selecting and Evaluating the Best Mobile Apps for Library Services." Often people write a review without understanding what the app was meant to do. Or they dash off a technical support question. Librarianship has a long tradition of reviewing books. Now is the time to apply those well-honed skills to apps and help your community find what they need in a chaotic marketplace. Read More »


CES 2015 Press Day

Submitted by Patrick Hogan on January 8, 2015 - 10:49am

Jason Griffey reports on what he saw at CES press day-- a few 3D printers, including Ultimaker, a good library option; another small robot programmable in Google's Blockly, a visual programming editor; Samsung's SSD; and a drone. The soundtrack starts rough, but is much better after one minute.

Jason's coverage of CES is sponsored by Spingshare. Visit his blog Pattern Recognition for ongoing reports.


ICV Partners Acquires SirsiDynix

Submitted by Marshall Breeding on January 7, 2015 - 12:05pm

A new era in the corporate history of SirsiDynix, one of the corporate giants of the library technology industry, has begun. After more than eight years of ownership, Vista Equity Partners has sold SirsiDynix to ICV Partners, with Vista retaining and company executives acquiring minority stakes in the company. While it is too early to assess how new investment owners will shape the direction of the company going forward, it is clear that SirsiDynix remains a major force in the industry with a very large number of libraries relying on its success.  

Read More »


Reports from CES 2015

Submitted by Patrick Hogan on January 6, 2015 - 11:08am

Jason Griffey is attending CES 2015. We'll be sharing a few of his videos as he looks at upcoming consumer electronics with an eye to library service. In the first day's press event, among the technology he saw was the Ozobot, a small robot that is programmable using Google's blockly programming editor.

Visit Jason's blog Pattern Recognition for ongoing reports.


Operational Sofware in 3D Printing

Submitted by Jason Griffey on December 19, 2014 - 1:11pm

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

I’m using the term operational software to refer to your direct interface with the 3D printer, whether you’re preparing STL files for printing or actually creating the output file that the printer understands. This post focuses on the software needed for Fused Deposition printing, as that’s the most likely to be of use in a library. And once you get into SLS and other types, the software/process will likely be proprietary. Read More »


3D Scanning

Submitted by Jason Griffey on December 5, 2014 - 11:28am

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

In addition to creating “born digital” objects, you can digitize existing real-world objects to make them printable. Of the various methods of 3D scanning, as it's usually called, I’ll cover my favorite three possibilities at the moment. Like much of 3D printing, the technology for scanning is changing quickly. Read More »

Posted in

3D Printing Software

Submitted by Jason Griffey on November 26, 2014 - 12:42pm

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

Let’s start with a high-level overview of the process FDM printers follow, which is similar regardless of printer. You start with a digital model of your object, in STL format, either created with one of the  software packages described below or downloaded from a website. You open the file in a plating and slicing program, like Makerware, Repetier host, ReplicatorG, or Pronterface. The program will show how the object sits on the build platform, and you can manipulate it to some degree (scale it up or down, rotate it for a better fit). You will then choose a number of settings for slicing, things like layer height, infill, and extrusion temperature. Once you have your settings, you will either print directly from the computer over USB or export the STL file as a gcode file and move it to the printer on an SD card. The STL will be sliced into hundreds of layers, and the 3D printer will get instructions on how to build it one layer and a time. Read More »

Posted in

Not only FDM: Other Types of 3D Printing

Submitted by Jason Griffey on November 20, 2014 - 11:36am

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

As noted in earlier posts in the series, FDM (fused depostion modeling) printing is by far the most common inexpensive method of 3D printing. In this post, we’ll look at alternatives.

Stereolithography
We are starting to see stereolithography (SLA) printing move downmarket into the affordable-for-libraries zone. I’m aware of a couple of libraries that have already purchased stereolithography printers. Read More »


The Plastics of 3D Printing

Submitted by Jason Griffey on November 13, 2014 - 10:41am

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

The substrate for FDM printers are almost exclusively some form of thermoplastic that is delivered in an extruded wire-like form on a spool. It is usually called “filament” in the generic. The two common diameters for use in FDM printing are 1.75mm and 3mm, and a specific diameter is called for by the print head being used for the printer in question. A printer that uses 1.75mm diameter filament won’t be able to use 3mm without retrofitting the hardware for the difference, and vice versa. Slightly more common, the 1.75mm diameter is used by Makerbot Industries, the most popular manufacturer of FDM printers. Read More »

Posted in

Types of 3D Printing: Fused Deposition Modeling

Submitted by Jason Griffey on November 5, 2014 - 1:44pm

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

Fused deposition modeling defines 3D printing for most people, as it’s by far the most common and in many ways the simplest technology for 3D printing. Fused deposition modeling uses a variety of plastics that fall within a range of melting points and that fuse when melted and resolidified, the most common of which are ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) and PLA (polylactic acid). We’ll discuss the specifics of these and other print substrates below. Read More »

Posted in