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3D Printers Mold Minds, Spark Creativity in South Florida Libraries, Classrooms

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Photos: Wikimedia Commons and Public Domain
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A 3D printer, left, has been used to produce everything from casts for broken bones to tools.

Machines that fabricate items on demand. Technology that turns a digital computer model into a physical object. Once the realm of science fiction, 3D printers are increasingly common in schools, libraries, and on university campuses, and they're being used to create every-day objects to complex medical devices and even human body parts.

In Southwest Florida, 3D printers give students tangible artifacts to educate them about biology, chemistry, and history. Libraries rent them for projects at home or presentations to groups. And at colleges and universities like FGCU, they're being used to design and rapidly prototype engineering projects.

Thursday at 1 p.m., Gulf Coast Live features guests using of 3D printer technology in Southwest Florida to discuss their current and potential future applications, including:

Matthew Smith is a reporter and producer of WGCU’s Gulf Coast Live.