Glowforge is an unreleased 3D laser printer. When completing this shadowing assignment, a coworker mentioned that the library was in the process of purchasing this machine. Previously, I was not familiar with the Glowforge laser printer, so I decided to do some research and attain more information. According to the Glowforge website, this machine can engrave a wide variety of materials. Individuals can create and print computer designs or hand sketch designs which can then be scanned by the Glowforge machine. The machine is relevant for library use because a Glowforge would be a perfect addition to a maker space. Since this is a brand new machine not yet released, reading information on the company website is an excellent means for librarians to become acquainted with the Glowforge. As the machines are released, librarians can share their various techniques and methods with others concerning the operation of this machine.
Since maker spaces have become increasingly more popular, libraries are constantly looking for new technology to add to these spaces. Maker spaces help teach patrons a wide variety of STEM and STEAM concepts. They are especially important for children and teens, because attaining additional knowledge concerning these concepts reinforces learning and school curriculum. Additionally, adults can utilize maker spaces to learn concepts that could prove to be beneficial for career advancement. Glowforges could be utilized to instruct patrons on laser technology, along with various digital design concepts. Smith (2016) states, “Your patrons will need supervision while utilizing this instrument and you will need to train staff on the proper use and cautions given that it does use lasers and requires ventilation.” (Smith, 2016, pg. 38) Since the town library, who employs me, is in the process of adding one of these machines, my acquired research concerning this device will afford me the opportunity to instruct librarians on proper utilization of a Glowforge machine.