For the past three years, the Franklin County Public Library has displayed and operated a 3D printer to enable the public to learn about this cutting-edge technology.

Simply put, the 3D printing process produces a solid three-dimensional object from a digital file. Library visitors can observe 3D printing in action and can even print a small object using a digital file of their choice. Objects have ranged from toys and trinkets to items used in homework assignments.

3D printing has become increasingly sophisticated, allowing for production of complex, functional objects. Examples include auto parts, robotics, computer equipment and medical items, including personal protective equipment (PPE).

Given the public health challenges posed by COVID-19 and the critical need for PPE, the Franklin County Public Library is collaborating with the Franklin County Department of Public Safety to produce 3D-printed head frames for face shields to be worn by first responders.

“We have printed a prototype frame for Public Safety’s review and feedback,” the Franklin County Public Library stated. “Once we have refined the design, we hope to produce a supply of head frames. This is an exciting cross- agency collaboration designed to minimize the risk of infection for our vital public safety personnel.”


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