3D Printing? For real?

This video is a little outside of our little music library nook, but I found it so fascinating I really wanted to share it. Yes, I realize it’s over 10 minutes long, but honestly, didn’t you just spend 10 minutes dinking around the web to find this? I promise this won’t be time wasted.

Up until now, I’ve been pretty skeptical of this whole 3D printing hoopla, admittedly due to my own Luddite ignorance about the matter. This new technology continues the strain of consumer as creator which the digital world has made possible. People market their own cds, publish their own books, film their own videos. It seems only natural that this track has extended further to more tangible objects like making their own bicycles. Crazy, huh? But according to the video, these special printers exist with special cartridges that can create physical objects like these. Technology makes it possible for us to be tradesmen.

What does this mean for libraries, in particular, music libraries? Our patrons already are using our computers and printers to spit out printed music thanks to IMSLP and other digital music providers. If our little niche echoes the larger mission of public libraries, will the 3D printing revolution mean we will be “printing” musical instruments in our efforts to provide information? Will this new user-generated version of commerce make storefronts obsolete? Well, the e-reader was supposed to put libraries out of business and we’re still here and quite healthy.

In the meantime, check out some of the many books on musical instruments, their origin and construction, here at your Robinson Music Library.

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