Posted by: bluesyemre | August 3, 2015

Libraries Are the Future of Manufacturing in the United States

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Public libraries are becoming a one-stop shop for manufacturing in the digital age. Because libraries are investing in machines like 3-D printers, someday soon everyone with access to a public library could become an inventor or create something. In the Chicago area, there’s a nearly exact replica of a 10-year-old boy’s head. It’s not an exact replica because, last year, he had a cranial defect. Doctors needed to perform craniofacial surgery on his skull to protect his brain. Operating on the brain or skull leaves little room for error. “If something goes wrong I can destroy that person’s character … forever,” said noted neurosurgeon Henry Marsh in the 2009 documentary http://www.theenglishsurgeon.com/?view=film.

It helps to make a model. A team of doctors at the Loyola University Medical Center wanted to do just that to assist the doctors performing the operation, but ordering a replica of the boy’s skull would have taken two to three weeks and cost about $4,000. Instead, they went to the Chicago Public Library as part of a trial study and printed out a replica of the boy’s skull using a 3-D printer. The model of the skull was sanitized, and took just 12 hours to make. It cost $20 and the surgery was successful. Public libraries are becoming a one-stop shop for manufacturing in the digital age.

http://www.psmag.com/nature-and-technology/libraries-are-the-future-of-manufacturing-in-the-united-states


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