Printing in Three Dimensions

3d-printer2In October 2015, Einstein’s new Makerbot Replicator 3D printer was unveiled in the D. Samuel Gottesman Library. By December it was so popular that it had its own Twitter hashtag, #Einstein3D. Recent “printouts” include a DNA strand (above), models of the heart and a water-bath tray.

A 3D printer isn’t exactly like the printer connected to your computer; “industrial robot” is a more accurate description. At least one of Einstein’s shared facilities already has a 3D printer, but the one in the library is the first that students can use. A library staff member rolls it out to meet its public on “3D Thursdays” and on Fridays now as well.

“Right now the user ratio is about 50/50 faculty and students,” says Winifred King, Web services librarian. “We’re increasingly getting researchers who make requests such as ‘Can I print a model of my virus?’ The answer is ‘Yes!’ And while our future physicians may not be called upon to design 3D printer programs, they can benefit from knowing a 3D printer’s clinical applications,” which include making implants. To do a project, students should sign up at