VCLmaker's blog

Handle with Care

As we gear up for the next round of Makeshop events taking place at E.P. Foster Library, plenty of makers continue to use the LAB for some interesting projects. One gentleman found that while the handle for his garden spade was damaged, the blade itself was still in good shape. His solution? Design and 3D print a replacement!

In addition to the new series of summer Makeshop events, the Library LAB will continue to host special workshops for individuals and groups who want to learn more about using our equipment. Whether you're a teacher, a parent, a student, or just someone with an interest in new technologies, contact the library for more information—or just drop by our open workshop hours on Wednesday evenings!

STEM Expo Giveaways and Gold Coins

We were fortunate enough to have our Library LAB take part in CSU Channel Islands' 5th annual STEM Expo earlier this month. This amazing event was held at the fairgrounds in conjunction with the Ventura County Science Fair.

We used two of CI's Afinia 3D printers and Tinkercad to demonstrate 3D modeling and printing. Several students designed models that were printed out right there for them to take home! We also had small public library-themed giveaways for all of our visitors.

Also this month, one of our frequent LAB users was kind enough to share with us some work he has done applying gold, silver, and copper leaf to one of our designs. Want to share what you've been working on? Drop by the Library LAB on Wednesday evenings!

Make Something Beautiful @ Foster

Our Library LAB continues to hold open workshop hours on Wednesdays from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. During this time library staff is available to help you learn the ins and outs of our equipment and brainstorm on ways you can incorporate our LAB into your work!

Lately we've had time to play around a bit with our laser cutter and engraver; just last week we rastered out an image captured by E.P. Foster Library's Resident Photographer that was featured on the blog Fun at Foster back in June. The image was burned onto a sheet of quarter-inch birch plywood.

Join us as we continue to learn more about the software and hardware we have available in our LAB! Stop by the library on Wednesday evenings or make an appointment by calling (805) 648-2716.

What's New in the World of 3D Printing

This last week the Ventura County Library had some representatives at 3D Printer World Expo in Burbank! The conference featured seminars on new technologies and printing techniques as well as panel discussions by artists, educators, and others who are using 3D printing in interesting ways.

There were lots of cool developments being showcased, but pictured here is one of our favorites: a new type of PLA filament that changes color when exposed to heat! We were lucky enough to get a sample of this filament along with another type that reacts similarly under UV light.

Drop by the Library LAB's open workshop hours on Wednesday evenings from 5:30 to 7:30 if you'd like to hear more about the conference or use our 3D printer!

Bring Your Projects to Our LAB!

As we wrap up our first month of our Library LAB being open to the public, we've already had a few great experiences with people bringing in interesting projects!

This photo features a stencil created with our laser cutter. A library user brought in the pattern, which we loaded onto one of the laptops in the LAB and ran through the laser's software. The result was the beautifully intricate design here, which was cut out in about fifteen minutes!

If you have any questions about how you can use our laser or our 3D printer, stop by E.P. Foster Library on Wednesday evenings for our open workshop hours!

3D Printing and Laser Engraving: Coming Wednesdays in January!

If you've been curious about the Library LAB's 3D printer and laser engraver, you're in luck! Starting in January, library staff will be available to help you learn about these pieces of equipment.

Whether you want to find out more about the software and hardware involved or use the printer or engraver for a project of your own, we can walk you through the process and get you ready to start making!

The Library LAB will be open for walk-ins on Wednesday evenings from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. starting on January 7. For more information, call or drop by the library; we hope to see you there!

Library LAB: Makeshop Events!

Staring in January, E.P. Foster Library will host a series of Library LAB events on Tuesday evenings at 5 p.m.

These events are part of our recent Makeshop outreach program and will include activities related to chemistry, robotics, and even art! Participants will be able to create bouncing balls, drawing machines, and vibrating robots like the one pictured here.

All of these events are free and open to the public, so drop by the library and check out some of the ways science and technology can be fun and exciting!

Lost and Found

Have you ever lost something unique or otherwise hard to find? You may want to consider 3D printing a replacement!

Recently one of the supports for E.P. Foster Library's display case went missing, so we searched online for a design that would allow us to print a new one. The gray support seen in this photo comes from Thingiverse.com user WilliamAAdams, and was printed using the Ventura County Library's own 3D printer!

Whether you are borrowing an existing design or have one of your own, you will soon be able to make use of the library's 3D printer yourself! Stay tuned for more info on policies and procedures as we work out the details of this exciting new program.

Making the Cut

The library's laser cutter and engraver is an impressive tool capable of great precision and power. The pieces on the right were cut out by one of our volunteers in a matter of minutes!

As we continue to test out the equipment we will also be compiling a list of materials that we can cut or engrave, as well as appropriate settings for each. If you have questions about a specific material or item, let us know!

Stay tuned for more information on the development of our library's makerspace, including future events showcasing our new technologies!

VCL @ the CSUCI Science Carnival

Last weekend the Ventura County Library had a couple of staff members volunteering at the CSUCI Science Carnival. This annual event is geared towards cultivating interest in STEM topics among elementary and middle school students.

Our table's activity involved Art Bots, simple robots designed to create colorful patterns when activated. Instructions are available on the Science Buddies website for anyone interested in doing this activity themselves!

This event was a great success and a wonderful opportunity for the library to get out in the community and help promote curiosity, science, and learning. We look forward to many similar collaborations in the future!

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