Advertisement
Technology

Where You Can Use 3-D Printers

Sources for the high-tech printing model are right around the corner.

The miracles of 3-D printing range from restaurant-caliber ravioli to human body parts. Ordinary consumers are increasingly gaining access to the technology at their local public libraries, where they can produce low-cost tools, toys or even shoes.

You’ll find libraries with printers in 35 states, in cities ranging in size from Denver and Washington, D.C., to Westport, Conn., and Glen Ellyn, Ill. Printing is typically free, but you may pay about $5 for materials (usually plastic). Libraries offer classes and online guides for people interested in designing their own objects. Or try free software, such as Tinkercad or 123D Design. If you want a professional design, you can find templates at Thingiverse.com.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Print household objects, from cell-phone cases to wall hooks, or homework helpers, such as a world map or DNA model. Or print your business logo on keychains. Avoid anything too large or complex because libraries place limits on the time it takes to print your object. If your library doesn’t have a 3-D printer, you can send designs to local services listed on 3DHubs.com and MakeXYZ.com, or visit one of 60 UPS stores with 3-D printers. A printer of your own costs about $200 for a basic model.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

18 Things You Can't Return to Amazon
Smart Buying

18 Things You Can't Return to Amazon

Before tossing these items into your virtual shopping cart, be sure to read Amazon's return policy first.
September 17, 2020
Election 2020: Joe Biden's Tax Plans
taxes

Election 2020: Joe Biden's Tax Plans

With the economy in trouble, tax policy takes on added importance in the 2020 presidential election. So, let's take a look at what Joe Biden has said …
September 18, 2020
7 Foreign Countries Luring Americans to Work Abroad During the Pandemic
careers

7 Foreign Countries Luring Americans to Work Abroad During the Pandemic

Work remotely – really remotely – in these appealing destinations offering special visas for American workers.
September 18, 2020

Recommended

18 Things You Can't Return to Amazon
Smart Buying

18 Things You Can't Return to Amazon

Before tossing these items into your virtual shopping cart, be sure to read Amazon's return policy first.
September 17, 2020
No Summer Vacation This Year? What to Do with the Money You’ve Saved
spending

No Summer Vacation This Year? What to Do with the Money You’ve Saved

Maybe that trip to Hawaii you dreamed about didn’t happen, but look at the bright side: You have a nice little windfall to plan for.
September 2, 2020
When Is Amazon Prime Day 2020?
spending

When Is Amazon Prime Day 2020?

Circumstances beyond its control have forced Amazon to move its annual Christmas-in-July Amazon Prime Day blowout sale in 2020 to ... later.
August 27, 2020
The Five Top Consumer Complaints
Smart Buying

The Five Top Consumer Complaints

Here are the top five complaints from a survey of state and local agencies from 19 states.
August 27, 2020