Think of all the kits in your collection that may have been thrown away because the parts could not be replaced! I recently designed a replacement xylophone mallet for a circulating children's kit. Thanks to the digital caliper I was able to measure the dimensions from the old one on the right (was it chewed!? these mysteries bother me) and added some upgrades like a handle using premade shapes in Tinkercad to the new one on the left. Since printing in PLA isn't as strong as the typical ABS plastic, I made a thicker bottom. This printed in 2 hours and took me 15 minutes to create in Tinkercad. Just another example of staff using the 3D printer in their daily lives!
Speaking of which, Halloween is coming up so this year's costume was inspired by an Adafruit tutorial on lighting up a unicorn horn. The library staff has decided to be storybook characters this year so it was right up my alley. The free horn, including a bottom to fit an LED and sew-able clips, took 2 hours to print with clear PLA on our Ultimaker 2 Extended (I did not have flexible filament and it worked just fine). We have leftover conductive thread and LEDs from the adafruit candle bows we had made a few holidays ago which I sewed into a hoodie rather than soldering or buying any more materials that the tutorial suggests. I then went back to my days of hand making pom poms out of yarn and VIOLA! A more detailed tutorial including a picture where it actually lights up will be posted next week.