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Journal cover: Library Hi Tech

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Online from: 1983

Subject Area: Library and Information Studies

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3D printing and scanning at the Dalhousie University Libraries: a pilot project

Document Information:
Title:3D printing and scanning at the Dalhousie University Libraries: a pilot project
Author(s):Michael Groenendyk, (The School of Information Management, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada), Riel Gallant, (The School of Information Management, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada)
Citation:Michael Groenendyk, Riel Gallant, (2013) "3D printing and scanning at the Dalhousie University Libraries: a pilot project", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 31 Iss: 1, pp.34 - 41
Keywords:3D archives, 3D model, 3D models, 3D printing, 3D scanning, 3D technology, Academic libraries, Canada, Digital archives, Digital libraries, Hackerspace, University libraries
Article type:Case study
DOI:10.1108/07378831311303912 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:The authors would like to thank the Dalhousie University Libraries and Donna Bourne-Tyson for making this project possible, and Marc Comeau for his insights and work developing this project. The authors would also like to extend their gratitude to CBCL Ltd. and Nova Scotia Museum for providing additional financial support, and to Dr Bertrum MacDonald, Dr Keith Lawson, Dr Fiona Black and the rest of the faculty at Dalhousie's School of Information Management for all of their guidance and advice.

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to describe how 3D printing and scanning technology was implemented by the Dalhousie University Libraries in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Insights will be outlined about the benefits of these technologies in terms of data visualization and archival practices, as well as the potential user base for library-centered 3D printing and scanning services.

Design/methodology/approach – This paper describes why the Dalhousie University Libraries purchased a 3D printer and scanner, the challenges of maintaining these technologies and instructing students in their use, and how Dalhousie faculty members and students have made use of these technologies for their own research purposes.

Findings – 3D printing and scanning technologies can be of use to a much wider range of Faculties than have traditionally had access to them. The unique role libraries have on university campuses allows them to function as universal access points for these technologies. By offering 3D scanning technology, they can also use this technology internally for archival purposes.

Originality/value – While much has been written on 3D printing and scanning technology, very little has been written about how these technologies could relate to academic libraries. This paper sets the groundwork for further exploration into how 3D technologies can improve and expand library services.

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