3D printers come to SWFL libraries

Author: Nicole Papageorge
Published: Updated:

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- 3D printers can make just about anything, from toys to limbs and even guns. Residents will now have access to 3D printing at local libraries.

Jeffrey St. Firman, a recent FGCU graduate, works at the Southwest Florida Library Network (SWFLN).

“Anything you could possibly think of, the printer brings it to life,” said St. Firman.

The cooperative just got a 3D printer to loan to libraries across Southwest Florida.

The machine has only been in the area for two weeks and there’s already a waiting list.

WINK News discovered Collier County may be getting four of the machines to put in its local libraries.

Instead of ink, the printer uses plastic or metal. The machine then prints, or really builds, anything you design.

“Right now there’s a lot of interest, right now there’s a lot of curiosity.”

That curiosity is prompting some people across the country to make weapons with the printers,  even guns.

Some residents tell WINK News they’re concerned about what would happen if they’re accessible in a public library.

“If people are printing out guns that are 3D that looks like a real gun and you’re carrying it around, it’s a safety hazard,” said Alyssa Stone.

SWFLN Executive Director Luly Castro says someone is always supervising the printer. In the future, she expects local lawmakers to make some guidelines.

“Policies are going to have to be developed for responsible use,” said Castro. “I don’t think anyone’s gonna come in and say ‘I wanna build a gun, help me.'”

The 3D printer cost about $3,000 dollars and was paid for through a grant.

County commissioners will discuss placing the 3D printers in local libraries next Tuesday.

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