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Print-a-gift at the Richmond Public Library

Lorraine Graves   Apr-26-2018

Student, Kelly, stands by a 3D printer with her creation and a few of the options available.

Photo courtesy Richmond Public Library

Looking for an interesting and definitely unique gift for mom this Mother’s Day? According to Cindy Ho, head of the digital services at the Richmond Public Library you can use one of their 3D printers and print your mom’s present.

3D, or three dimensional, printers work much like standard printers but they build up layers in a computerized pattern to create an object.



“We’ve had the printers for three years already,” says Ho, “And we’ve been teaching people how to do 3D modelling and do their own projects.”

The nice thing being a public library is all the programs are offered for free.

It’s the cost of maintenance and materials, if they want to take something home. We have some items predesigned and those range from $2 to $4. We’re trying to keep costs quite low.”

Ho says you don’t really need to know how to work the printer or how to design 3D objects: “It’s kind of interesting. If they want to see the printer in action for Mother’s day, there will be some special pre-designed items as well.” That means kids can pick from a menu, decide on size and colour, then work with the staff to print up their gift for mom.

Ho says the rules for youth say they are supposed to come with their parent or guardian: “So it’s very nice actually for them to do it together and learn how 3D printers work.”

She says users can become certified to use the equipment: “They they can come in and use the 3D printers just like the scanners and other regular printers we have here at the library.”

If you want to do an orientation course to become certified on the library’s 3D printers so you can create and print your own designs, the next two are Sunday April 29 from 11 to 12 p.m. and Thursday May 3 from 7 to 8 p.m.

Ho says they will have some special Mother’s Day designs in the menu of options.

Whether you bring mom in to help her pick out her gift or bring a different adult so you can create a surprise, Ho wants everyone to feel welcome to pop in to the main branch of the library to watch the process.

“So, you can come in and see the printers in action,” Ho says, “Hopefully that will inspire them to create their own projects.”

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