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Out With Kids: Learn to use Lynden Library’s 3-D printer

Lynden Library’s 3-D printer is getting heavier use these days and staff there are eager to show it off with new training classes, orientation sessions, and other offerings.

“A lot of people have never seen anything like this,” said Lyndsey Runyan, teen services librarian.

“We have people printing things for school projects, or something whacky that they found online,” Runyan said. “We’re just experimenting about what is possible. I think the public is excited.”

Lynden’s printer is small, as copiers go, about the size of a microwave oven. It’s called the MakerBot Replicator 2.

Despite its name, the Replicator 2 can’t make Capt. Piccard’s “Tea, Earl Grey, hot.” But it could make the cup and saucer to hold it.

Runyan said they have printed ancient African tools, toys, and even a working prosthetic hand created in part by a Sudden Valley resident.

She said a library co-worker recently made a replica of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, where the European Space Agency landed a probe in November. Not life-size, of course.

To operate the printer, users must take one of the “3-D Printer MakerLab” classes being offered free at the library.

“They’re hands-on labs — we teach them two skills: One is printing and the other is designing” Runyan said. “People can come in and bring their own designs.”

People who are simply curious about 3-D printers can attend a free demonstration and orientation, or stop by during one of the scheduled drop-in times to watch it in operation.

Runyan said library staff are happy to answer questions about the 3-D printer and its use.

•  Several “3-D Printer MakerLabs” for people 12 and older are offered in the near future, including 6:45-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22; 6:45-8:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 26; 3:45-5:30 p.m. Monday, Feb.2; 6:45-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5; and 6:45-8:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 9. Other sessions are planned.

Participants must register online by navigating to, clicking on “ events,” and then searching the library calendar, which lists all 3-D printer classes and events for the next several months. Click on the calendar item to access a registration form. Space remained earlier this week for all of the classes. Call the library at 360-305-3600 to check availability.

•  Upcoming 3-D printer drop-in operation times are 6-8:45 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 27; 6-8:45 p.m. Monday, Feb. 2; and 6-8:45 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 10.

•  A printer demonstration and orientation is 6:15 to 7:45 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 18.