Saturday, January 29, 2022

3D printers craft on-demand solutions

by BRENDEN BOBBY Contributing Writer
| January 14, 2022 1:00 AM

Have you ever thrown out a knife or a screwdriver or some other tool after part of the plastic handle broke and it became too cumbersome to use? Perhaps you just need a simple plastic clamp for sealing your bag of tortilla chips shut, but you don’t want to pay an arm and a leg to have them shipped through Amazon.

You may not realize that you can have all manner of simple items like this crafted on-demand with the help of a 3D printer, oftentimes for much cheaper than buying a new one online.

3D printing has become far more affordable and user-friendly in recent years. Gone are the days of programming individual paths and functions into a scary-looking drafting machine. Now you just have to find a file you like, run it through some software and send it to the printer. The hardest decision you have to make is what color would you like your fancy new item to be?

3D printers offer something for everyone from innovative home decorators to inspired inventors. If you spend a little time working with 3D modeling software, you can even alter pre-existing models online to personalize your print and make your creation fit perfectly into your home or office.

Don’t have space for a 3D printer at home? The library district currently has three 3D printers for public use. All you need to do is email us the file you’re hoping to 3D print, let us know what color you would like it to be in and then stop by the technology desk upstairs to pay for the print. We do ask that you pay for the item before we print it out, but we will always give you the total cost up front.

Want to get started, or maybe learn a little bit more? Feel free to email us at We’re always happy to answer your questions and talk about this amazing technology!

Brenden Bobby can be reached at the East Bonner County Library, 1407 Cedar St., Sandpoint, by phone at 208-263-6930, or email at

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