SMITHTOWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Thanks to a donation from the Friends of the Smithtown Library, all four branches have a 3-D printer.

Director Robert Lusak said this helps the library stay relevant in the digital age.

“In order for the library to stay relevant in society we have to evolve and change with the times,” Lusak said. “The 3-D printer is a great example of staying at the cusp of technology.”

“We want to bring people who might not want to use the library and this is the perfect tool to attract those types,” he added.

The printers have been attracting lots of attention.

“Even if someone doesn’t want to print something they really just want to see it in action,” network administrator Jimmy Buckman.

“Small children come in and they stand in front of the machine and they stare at the machine,” Lusak said. “You have seniors who want to come in and they actually want to recreate an image.”

Local entrepreneurs and inventors have also used the printers to develop their prototypes.

“One of them was actually a coffee press,” Lusak said. “They recreated a cross section of it and they used the printer to make that object.”

Buckman said an extruder heats a biodegradable plastic filament to 400 degrees and dispenses that filament layer by layer onto a tray to create a three-dimensional object from a computer generated image.

The library has created a ukulele and a replica of a dinosaur skull using the printers.


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