The Nancy D. Castle Collaboration Studio houses the library’s Maker equipment, including 3D printers, a laser cutter, and a vinyl cutter. Maker classes are regularly scheduled to introduce patrons to the equipment.
There are two types of 3D printer available at the library—Fused Deposition Modeling and Stereolithography. Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) 3D printers melt a plastic filament which is extruded in layers onto a build plate based on a list of coordinates created by software. Once the build is finished, the final print can be removed from the printer and then be lightly sanded, painted, or otherwise treated like any plastic model. The Stereolithography (SLA) 3D printer lowers the build plate into a UV-sensitive resin while an ultraviolet laser quickly cures each layer using coordinates created by the software. Once printing finishes the print is placed in isopropyl alcohol for a few minutes to clean off any residue, then set under a UV light (or placed in the sun) for a little while to fully cure the resin.
In addition to our Maker classes, we also accept 3D print jobs from the public. To have us print your item you will need to bring or send in the 3D file (in STL or OBJ format) to receive an estimate of the print cost. Pricing for the Ultimaker FDM printers it is $0.10 per gram and the Form 2 SLA printer is $0.45/gram. There is also a flat $3.00 set-up fee. Once we receive payment we will give an estimated time of completion and print the item. You will be notified when it is ready for pickup.
Vinyl and Laser Cutters
The library has a Cricut vinyl cutter and a 60-watt laser cutter/engraver. These machines are for use only during Maker classes at this time. The laser cutter is a computer-controlled cutting device that uses a laser to cut or engrave a design into various materials—including wood acrylic and glass.
The library will soon have a sound studio for patrons to use and classes related to audio and video editing. Please check back for more information.
The Nancy D. Castle Collaboration Studio also has video conferencing software and hardware and collaboration software which allows multiple devices to connect to a central hub, either with a cord or wirelessly, and display information for everyone to view, quickly and easily switching between the different devices that are connected. For information on using this service, please contact the Tech Desk at (815) 756-9568 x6103.