Featured: 3D Printing

Imagine what you can make!
3D printing at a Nova Scotia CAP site near you

The Nova Scotia Community Access program is rolling out the latest in 3 dimensional printing technologies in 16 locations across the province.

Called Makerspaces, each CAP site/library will have a dedicated Makerbot Replicator 2 printer available to print 3 dimensional models that have been either downloaded from the Internet or created using free software such as Google Sketchup. Explains NSCAP Chair Eric Stackhouse “NSCAP has sixteen printers publically available in communities across Nova Scotia, we don’t know of any other jurisdiction the size of Nova Scotia that has done this.” The 3D printing technology is part of the new NSCAP mandate to introduce new technologies, encourage everyone to think how they can use technology to be more productive, engage youth in science, and generally to develop a learning community through cooperation and sharing of new skills. Says Stackhouse. “If you bring in your 3D idea to one of our sites we can help you print it.”

3D printing, or distributed manufacturing, is a new technology that has the potential to change the way items are made and distributed. A 3 dimensional model or idea can be made into a physical object on site. It is being used by all sectors and by large and small businesses wishing to develop prototypes. But it is also being used by those with creative minds. 3D printers have a wide range of price and capability; the Replicator 2 is designed for those getting started with this technology. The objects are printed in PLA, a strong natural substance made from plants.

Funding for this initiative is a combination of community funds and funding provided by the Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. NSCAP has partnered with Dalhousie University Libraries in this initiative.

Locations to date (more coming soon, please check back):