Trumbull Library System puts new technology to use

You don't need special glasses to see a 3D printer in action.

The Fairfield-Nichols Branch Library is now home to a state-of-the-art piece of technology that the Trumbull Library System hopes will inspire the entrepreneur and inventor in residents of all ages.

The library has a MakerBot Replicator 2, also known as a 3D printer. It can print three-dimensional objects made out of plastic — everything from appliance parts to jewelry, cups, art, and toys.

The Trumbull Library System is only the second library in the state to have a 3D printer. Westport Library purchased the first and Westport’s Assistant Director for Innovation, Bill Derry, came to the Nichols Branch last week to discuss how the tool can be used. The 3D printing demonstrations are being held every Wednesday this month at 3 p.m. at the Nichols branch.

“It’s got magical qualities in terms of attracting imaginations,” Derry said. “People want to make something with it.”

Objects and prototypes can be created by downloading models from programs like Google SketchUp.

“Some people will come in with a cup from home and think it’s like Star Trek and we can copy it,” Derry said. “That’s not too far from where it’s going, but we’re not there yet.”

Some people in Westport have used it to create business prototypes. Others have used it for artistic purposes

It’s also a great tool for students. Trumbull Library System Director Susan Horton said the printer will be used in the future as part of an ongoing collaboration with Trumbull Public Schools, to spark student creativity and teach 21st-Century skills.

At the demonstration, the printer was used to create a cup, a whistle and a small plastic chain with multiple links

“As a library, we want to get things first and get people thinking about the possibilities,” Derry said.

The next demonstration will be Wednesday, March 13, at 3 p.m. Presentations will be held on March 20 and March 27 as well.

For a full listing of One Book-One Town programs, see Library News or visit