Home Maybe it’s Time For Kinkos to Offer 3D Printers

Maybe it’s Time For Kinkos to Offer 3D Printers

An op/ed piece in Make magazine by Phil Torrone talks about the many places around the world where you can stop in and learn how to make stuff. These Hackerspaces, Fab Labs, and other geeking-out lending libraries are replacing, well, lending libraries, to be blunt. “What if we were to convert just 1% or even 10% of the 9,000 US public libraries into Tech Shops?” he posits. “Libraries and librarians are underused for skill building. Libraries have the space, they have net connections, they’re in great locations; why not evolve?”

I think he is on to something, but don’t think the public libraries are the right venue. We need private business to step up to the task and putting 3D printers (our opening icon is showing one from HP as an example) and laser-driven cutting machines alongside the copiers and binders makes more sense to me. But maybe what we need now is for commercial enterprises that offer walk-in access to common office equipment (think Kinkos and Office Depot et al.) need to beef up their collection.

I remember when it wasn’t all that long ago when having a color printer that you could connect to your computer and output 100 copies of your latest report wasn’t all that common. But paper isn’t the only thing that we need to output anymore, and the 3D printers produce prototypes and solid models that can be used in a variety of corporate situations.

Torrone’s link at the top has some great analysis about the public library situation along with lots of links to the various tech spaces that abound around the world. What do you think?

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.