Printing in Three Dimensions
In 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 http://libguides.einstein.yu.edu/3d.