St. Mary’s Library Goes High-Tech: Introduces 3D Printing, Virtual Reality

images.pngThe St. Mary’s County Library this week announced the acquisition of 3D printers, 3D pens, Cricut Maker machines, and virtual reality headsets. The St. Mary’s County Library has branches in Charlotte Hall, Leonardtown, and Lexington Park.

“In a recent community survey, we saw lots of interest in providing new technology for County residents to discover and learn from,” said Michael Blackwell, Director. “We’re grateful to our Friends for the funding that has made it possible.”

According to a press release:

The two 3D printers are Prusa I3 MK3S printers that use PLA filament. The Library provides several colors of filament including black, white, transparent, blue, red, and yellow. The public is welcome to submit designs for print via the Library website ( Designs should be .stl format and cannot exceed 15MB. The Library will also be occasionally holding classes for various age groups to introduce the public to 3D printing and learn basic design principles.

3D printing is provided free of charge, though the Library asks for a donation to purchase filament and keep the service going.

In addition to the 3D printers, the Library purchased ten 3D pens. A 3D pen is a pen that extrudes heated plastic from the pen’s nozzle. 3D pens don’t need any software, there are no files to transfer, and no difficult tech to master.

The Library also purchased three Cricut Maker machines. The Cricut Maker is the perfect machine for all of your crafting needs – this machine cuts hundreds of materials quickly and accurately, from the most delicate fabric and paper to mat board and leather. By late this year, there will be one Cricut Maker at each Library location available for the public to use.

The Oculus Rift S is Oculus VR’s most advanced PC-powered virtual reality headset. The Library has purchased 2 Oculus Rift S; watch for opportunities to try the Oculus Rift S at various events at the Library locations throughout the year. Experiences include space exploration, games such as Beat Saber and Job Simulator, dinosaur encounters, stories, art and creative encounters, world travel, and more.

“We so appreciate the generosity of the Friends of the St. Mary’s County Library,” said Laura Boonchaisri, Marketing and Communications Coordinator. “Without their wonderful donation, we wouldn’t have been able to purchase all of this technology for our customers to use. We have already seen great interest in the soft launch of the 3D printing service at Leonardtown Library. Customers love to come in and see what’s printing! The Oculus Rift S has also been a hit! It’s an out-of-this-world experience; I encourage everyone to watch for the events coming up with virtual reality. We can’t wait to have public use of the Cricuts later this year. The Cricut is a machine often used for small businesses or crafters that is a bit cost prohibitive for an individual to purchase. We hope having one available to use at the Library will be a helpful and popular option.”

Learn more by reading the full press release from the St. Mary’s County Library.