Public library offers 3D printer, virtual reality headsets

Alhambra Library Goes High-Tech

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Public library offers 3D printer, virtual reality headsets

A Groot figurine sits on the 3D printer that created it. (Daniel Lindley/UT)

A Groot figurine sits on the 3D printer that created it. (Daniel Lindley/UT)

A Groot figurine sits on the 3D printer that created it. (Daniel Lindley/UT)

A Groot figurine sits on the 3D printer that created it. (Daniel Lindley/UT)

Daniel Lindley, Community News Reporter

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Those interested in exploring some of the newest technology of our generation can now get firsthand experience at the Alhambra library’s new Discovery Center. 

The center features a 3D printer, Oculus Rift and Oculus Go virtual reality machines, sewing machines complimented by a new machine that prepares and cuts fabrics beforehand, computers, laptops, iPads, and a pin-back button maker.   

According to the library’s services manager, Antoinette Morales-Tanner, all this new equipment did not cost the city any money. She explains that the library applied and received a $5,500  Innovation Station grant from the California State Library. The library also received two grants from Southern California Edison amounting to $25,000. 

The center is available to library visitors of all ages with a valid California identification card.To use the equipment, you must first sign a user agreement waiver which is available at the Discovery Center, the Teen Desk or on the library’s website: alhambralibrary.org/discovery-center. Those under the age of 18 must have a parent’s signature. First-time users are required to complete a safety orientation. 

 Most equipment in the discovery center is free to use. However, the library charges a small fee to cover the cost of supplies for the 3D printers and the button maker. Those who are interested in using the LulzBot 3D printer should know the cost to print is 50 cents for every half hour of printing. 

 Printing figurines such as the Groot a Marvel Comics character – takes about five hours and costs roughly $5, according to Joy Jaroensuk, a library page. 

 The library also accepts other types of filaments material used to create your 3D figure and if that is used, you can print free of charge. All print jobs and filaments must be approved by staff member prior to use. The button maker costs 15 cents for black and white, 30 cents for color, and an additional 25 cents for each button made.   

 “As each week progresses, it’s gotten more and more popular,” said Morales-Tanner, adding that there has been an average of 35 people per day since the grand opening in late February. It seems as each week passes, there are also fewer open reservation slots. 

The discovery center is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Reservations can be made by calling the library’s Teen Desk at (626) 570-5008, extension 5608. They are taken on first-come, first-served basis. 

Community News reporters are enrolled in JOUR 3910 – University Times. They produce stories about under-covered neighborhoods and small cities on the Eastside and South Los Angeles. Please email feedback, corrections and story tips to UTCommunityNews@gmail.com.

 

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