3D printing helps reduce landfill

Article image - 3D printing helps reduce landfill Need a prototype or a new part for your blaster? Print it at the library. Thanks to the new 3D printing service offered by Mackay Regional Council Libraries, Queensland, innovators, creators, inventors, fixers and designers now have a cheap and easy way to create parts, test prototypes and tinker with designs. Community and Client Services director, Bridget Mather, said two libraries in the Queensland Shire now had 3D printers. “3D printers have a lot of applications and are especially useful for creating prototypes for fault finding and testing. “Jewellers even use 3D prints to try out new designs. “Obviously, printing with plastic is a lot easier and cheaper than machining prototypes and designs out of metal. “And, while we can’t design your prints for you, we can print them cheaply – it’s just 25 cents per gram, which covers the cost of the plastic filament used by the printers.” Another popular application for 3D printers is reducing landfill by replacing lost or broken parts that are often almost impossible to find. “Anyone who has an older appliance knows that if a small part breaks, you might as well throw out the whole appliance, because getting a replacement part is just so difficult and expensive. “If you are a bit of a tinkerer and have the know-how to jump online and use one of the free design programs, you can get the part printed at the library for just a couple of dollars. “If this means fewer items end up in landfill, then that is another big bonus from this technology.” A 3D scanning service is coming soon, as Libraries has just acquired a scanner and staff are learning the intricacies of this exciting technology.