Somerset Libraries

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3D printers for libraries: Somerset Libraries

Finding 3D printers for libraries needn’t be a headache.

Somerset Libraries staff were looking for a 3D printer as part of their ‘Glass Box‘ initiative in Taunton Library, which provides a flexible community space to support innovation and enterprise in Taunton. Utility Rentals were able to provide the ideal solution.

What equipment did Taunton Library require?

  • Main printer for in-house use: Ultimaker 2
  • Portable printer for outreach demos/workshops: Ultimaker 2 Go
  • 3D printing software: Cura

What to consider when acquiring 3D printers for libraries

These are some of the things highlighted by Somerset Libraries to consider when choosing 3D printers for libraries.

Support package

Utility Rentals offer a comprehensive support package designed to help clients hit the ground running, including:

  • Guidance on choosing the right printer for your needs
  • Full delivery, installation and setup as part of the package
  • Comprehensive staff training
  • Parts and labour breakdown warranty for the duration of the rental agreement
  • Specialist materials designed for libraries, schools and other institutions

Here’s what Somerset Libraries had to say:

“We had no existing knowledge or experience of 3D printing. We selected the rental agreement with installation, training and support to ensure the printers were properly set-up and supported throughout and introductory training to give our library staff confidence and avoid any unexpected delays or costs.”

“[Utility Rentals’ installation team] set-up the printer, tested it, and took a group of staff through the printer features, as well as providing some useful tips and advice.”

Payment method

Funding is usually the biggest barrier to library modernisation. A standard purchasing arrangement front-loads the main cost, and leaves buyers to pick up the tab when equipment needs fixing.

A rental agreement works differently. You spread the cost over the duration of your rental agreement, and receive all the support outlined above at no extra cost. This is what Somerset Libraries had to say about the Utility Rentals payment method:

“The decision for us was whether to purchase or lease. I contacted a number of 3D print specialist suppliers, and there were very few options available. The service [provided by Utility Rentals] has been excellent. The rental agreement has allowed us to ensure the equipment remains in service, and to budget accurately for the equipment over the course of the rental agreement.”

The Utility Rentals touch

“[Knowledge] that Utility Rentals supply this type of equipment to… schools and colleges gave us confidence that the right level of support would be available for our staff. We have received good telephone support and prompt service visits.”

“We’ve been very happy… Staff are much more confident about using the printers as a result [of Utility Rentals’ training]. We’re also very happy with our selection of Ultimaker printers… They have been really popular in our libraries…”

Taunton Library is just one of the many institutions that we’ve helped step into the age of personalised design and manufacturing with state-of-the-art 3D printing technology. Get a feel for the Utility Rentals service by checking out our other case studies.

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