Starting this week, though, 3-D printing will be as easy as swiping a library card for Chicago residents. The city’s main downtown library, the Harold Washington Library Center, has opened up a free maker lab that anyone can access, with three MakerBot 3-D printers, laser cutters and a milling machine. It’s the first maker space to open in a major urban library.
Look for this trend to scale. Available programs will be vetted for approved printings of just about anything under the sun. And why shouldn't libraries take the democratization of knowledge to the democratization of consumer created economies.