Baldwin Public Library in Birmingham, Michigan, donated 100 3D-printed protective face shields to Beaumont Hospital in nearby Troy. Photo: Baldwin Public Library in Birmingham, Michigan.

Using 3D to Make PPE

June 1, 2020

Jillian Rutledge, public services manager at Waterloo (Iowa) Public Library, learned about a PPE production initiative through a local branch of the national community revitalization project Main Street America. When her library closed its doors to patrons March 17, she obtained instructions online for printing PPE and tried various iterations before finding one that worked … Continue reading Using 3D to Make PPE


Dewey Decibel: Libraries Respond to COVID-19

Dewey Decibel Podcast: Libraries Respond to COVID-19

April 21, 2020

First, American Libraries Senior Editor and Dewey Decibel host Phil Morehart speaks with Felton Thomas Jr., executive director and CEO of Cleveland Public Library, about the library’s use of 3D printers to make personal protective equipment for emergency workers. Then Morehart talks with Evan Knight, preservation specialist at the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, about … Continue reading Dewey Decibel Podcast: Libraries Respond to COVID-19


Using 3D to Make PPE

April 3, 2020

Jillian Rutledge, public services manager at Waterloo (Iowa) Public Library, learned about a PPE production initiative through a local branch of the national community revitalization project Main Street America. When her library closed its doors to patrons March 17, she obtained instructions online for printing PPE and tried various iterations before finding one that worked … Continue reading Using 3D to Make PPE


Carvey uses CNC technology to mill wood, plastic, circuit boards, and other materials.

Make It 3D

July 18, 2018

Carvey When Inventables launched Carvey in 2015, it was one of the first fully enclosed desktop computer numerical control (CNC) carvers, solving a problem many other subtractive manufacturing machines posed: They were large, noisy, and produced a lot of dust. Billed as a “3D carver,” Carvey works within many of the same design principles of … Continue reading Make It 3D


Esti Brennan (left) teaches a class in the DCPL’s central branch lab space. Photo: DCPL

Making Space for Libraries on Capitol Hill during National Library Week

April 6, 2018

To invite members of Congress and their staffers into the world of library makerspaces, the Washington Office is working with DC Public Library (DCPL) to bring its Fab Lab to Capitol Hill in an event hosted by Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.Mex.) on Wednesday, April 11. Luján is a participant of the Congressional Maker Caucus, … Continue reading Making Space for Libraries on Capitol Hill during National Library Week


Dispatches, by Jason Griffey

3D: A Status Report

September 1, 2017

One thing that has helped the 3D printing business take off is the availability of freely shareable models for just about anything. The most popular online library of 3D models is Thingiverse, a free resource owned by MakerBot Industries. Thingiverse allows anyone who has created a model to upload it to the website and make … Continue reading 3D: A Status Report


Rebecca Stavick, Executive Director of Do Space,

How to Run a Tech Space

June 25, 2017

Stavick began with a focus on leadership and communication. Tech space leaders are face of the project and communication is important because it will influence staff and the community and how they feel about technology. Stavick recommended hiring for strong soft skills over high educational levels. You can always teach someone how to 3D print … Continue reading How to Run a Tech Space


3D printing closeup

The Health Effects of 3D Printing

October 11, 2016

Ultrafine particles and volatile organic compounds Several studies have shown that 3D printers produce high amounts of ultrafine particles (UFPs) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) while in use, and that these particles and vapors are detectable for many hours after the printers have been shut off. UFPs have been linked to adverse health conditions, such … Continue reading The Health Effects of 3D Printing


Five-year-old Katelyn poses with her new prosthetic limb, the “Unlimbited” design from the e-NABLE website. It was 3D printed by a group of volunteers at the Clear Lake City-County Freeman branch library in Harris County, Texas.

Printing for a Cause

August 9, 2016

Five-year-old Katelyn was born without a fully formed left hand. Her parents were on the search to find a prosthetic arm for her when they discovered the e-NABLE Community. E-NABLE is a team of people around the world who work to create free prosthetic limb design plans for the upper body by using 3D printing. … Continue reading Printing for a Cause



John Fuduric, owner of The Cleveland Brewery, who used library resources to print unique beer taps for his business.

Library Advocacy Video Premieres at PLA

April 6, 2016

The video featured John Fuduric, owner of The Cleveland Brewery, who used the local library’s 3D printer to create custom keg tap handles, and helped demonstrate how libraries assist local entrepreneurs in unusual ways. “Policy makers, community decision makers, and funders do not always recognize the expanded roles and capabilities of libraries nor recognize the extent … Continue reading Library Advocacy Video Premieres at PLA