Library earns grant for 3D printer for students, teachers


Lauren Bial

The 3D printer will be used for certain projects, and students and teachers must go through training before using the machine. A demonstration of the new printer occurred on April 16.

Edward Brown, Staff Writer

OHS librarian Amanda Osborne recently received a grant for a 3D printer, which will be placed in the library. A demonstration for how the printer works took place in the commons on April 18. Osborne feels that students will benefit greatly from the printer being available to them.

“3D printing is offered at both Mississippi State and Ole Miss through their libraries for students,” Osborne said. “We have so many college bound students at OHS, so that doesn’t need to be their first time experiencing work with a 3D printer.”

Students will not be able to use the 3D printer for whatever they want and whenever they want.  Students and teachers will first have to go through a training session to be allowed to use it, and it will also be given to classes for certain projects.

“I’ll have to draft a policy and figure out what exactly is the best way to regulate students using the printer,” Osborne said. “I’ll have a training session so that students can learn how to use it.”

Osborne had to get a grant so that the library would be able to purchase the 3D printer, a process which can be complex and tedious.

“I did a lot of research into how 3D printers are used in academic libraries, which I included into a written grant,” Osborne said.

While the printer will be available to most students, not all students will use it.  Sophomore Cole Marsh is one of these students who says he will more than likely not need to use the printer.

“The printer is pretty cool, and it seems interesting, but I don’t think I’ll ever find a use for it or ever need it,” said Marsh.

The specific type of printer the library will be receiving is the MakerBot Replicator Plus+. The Replicator+ is a very advanced and complex printer that is an upgrade of its predecessor, the MakerBot Replicator.

“The MakerBot Replicator Plus+ is a business, professional grade printer,” Osborne said.  “Mississippi State has a MakerBot lab, so I feel that it would be compatible for what our students need to learn.”

With technology and computers becoming more and more popular in society, jobs surrounding these subjects have also become more common. The addition of the 3D printer in the OHS library will help introduce students to new technology, and can benefit them in the future with job opportunities.

“Even though I might not use the printer, I think lots of other students will and that it could benefit them,” Marsh said.