D.C.’s Martin Luther King Jr. Library is proving that libraries aren’t just for books – they’re also for 3D printing and book-making. The library is using its $3.4 million grant to provide a publicly accessible 3D printer and an Espresso Book Machine for on demand book printing – great for students and self-publishers. Printing is five cents per gram plus $1 (they say most print jobs costs between $1-$5). The library also has plans to include a “Dream Lab” where users can collaborate on projects ,test drive tablets and e-readers prior to purchasing, and also publish personal novels.
Library manager Nicholas Kerelchuck is optimistic about the library’s 3D printing service as an educational tool:
They’re learning math skills, engineering skill, hard science skills…this is future job experience. I think that in 10 years if someone has experience using a 3-D printer, they are far ahead of the curve.