The Harold Washington Library Center in Chicago has opened the city's first free maker space, a pop-up "maker lab" giving general public the opportunity to experiment with the cutting-edge technologies.
Starting this week, everyone can get access to a variety of software and equipment with a library card. With three MakerBot 2 3D printers, two laser cutters from Inventables, and a milling machine, makers are free to use the space and create objects of their own design. However, use of a MakerBot Replicator 2 is free, but librarians must approve whatever you design, the Chicago Tribune writes.
The temporary place is just one room on one floor of the massive downtown library. The grant money is only enough to run the lab till the end of the year. By then the library will have to evaluate if they should continue the project.
So far, it seems the public is dying to jump into the lab—teachers, instructors, and even business owners have reportedly been e-mailing nonstop to find out how they can get involved. "When school gets back in, we have a few high school teachers and principals who want to use that space as a hands-on lab for a class," Andrea Sáenz, First Deputy Commissioner of the Chicago Public Library (CPL) told Ars.
The Maker Lab is open July 8 through December 31. Check out free workshops, open lab hours and drop-in demonstration hours here. Every Sunday is family day, with activities for children under 14.
"We really designed it as an introduction to maker tools, culture, and economies with the hope that people will continue on their own." said Sáenz.
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Barton C. wrote at 7/21/2013 5:27:57 AM:
The Chattanooga (TN) Public library also has a Makerbot (Replicator2) available to anyone with a library card, as well as a growing number of other machines including a new laser cutter. This Thursday we are going to be building the library's second printer, which will be a Rostock kit. Awesome stuff!
Vince L. Harden wrote at 7/13/2013 6:07:18 PM:
Sure would like to have my Library in CA do this - i need it