As I sheepishly open my laptop and click the ‘Add’ button next to ‘Blog Posts’, I try to ignore the subliminal shouts of “Where have you been?” and “Call yourself a Blogger?” And, as it turns out, I’m able to ignore them quite successfully.
But I do feel that the time is ripe for a little update. As I mentioned in my previous post, the Scottish Government has recognised the potential opportunities that 3D printing, and its associated activities can offer, and have kindly allocated additional finding to ensure that all Scottish public library services can be involved.
In older posts I’ve already highlighted some of the activities so far inspired by the introduction of this technology and commented on their creativity and diversity. More recently though I’ve been talking to library staff about the hardware, and finding out which printers work well in a public library context and what could make them even better. It’s really interesting how quickly the technology is evolving, with new features and updates being introduced frequently, often as a result of user reviews.
These are just a selection of those I’ve had a look at – let me know if you have any thoughts, positive or negative, on any of them.
Another thing I’ve been thinking about recently – yes, that’s two things! Is it any wonder that I don’t have time for Blogging! Anyway, I’ve also been thinking about open data, prompted by attending an Open Data Training Workshop delivered by Urban Tide a couple of weeks ago. It introduced Open Data and explored its potential benefits for organisations, using inspiring case studies, encouraging group discussions, and referring to the very readable Scottish Government Open Data Strategy 2015.
The workshop was very timely as I had just read about Newcastle City Libraries publication of open data sets, and a subsequent hackathon to explore how they could be used. It encouraged me to think about the data sets that my organisation could potentially prepare and publish. A lot of them are already in the public domain but just need to be converted to a suitable format. I find it particularly exciting to think that, once published, they could contribute to something that had not been considered, or could be combined with other data sets to provide valuable insight previously unavailable.
Finally, and to return to the 3D printing theme, I took the opportunity to customise and print this beautiful ring design which I presented to my lovely wife on her birthday.
It is cast in solid polylactic acid (PLA) – I have warned her not to get too near the cooker whilst wearing it. 3D printing saves the day again.
I must finish now as I need to buy some emergency flowers.