VCLmaker's blog

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!

New 3D Printing Filament!

The Ventura County Library has acquired a new roll of filament for our 3D printer, and it glows in the dark!

We've been working with printing out smaller items as we test the new filament; this treble clef was printed from a design by Thingiverse user 3tte. It was scaled up from the original to fit easily in the palm of your hand.

If you stop by E.P. Foster Library, you just might get to see the printer in action. We're more than happy to talk with anybody who is interested about this technology and our future plans for it!

An October Surprise!

Our experiments with the Ventura County Library's new technologies continue!

Pictured here is a skull that was 3D printed using a design by user faberdasher, published on Thingiverse.com. The skull was then decorated by a member of the Foster Library staff!

Also pictured is a small keychain produced using our laser engraver. Both of these items are currently on display in E.P. Foster Library's first floor display case, so come by and check them out!

3D Printing in Action!

As we train more staff to use our 3D printer, we're putting it to work making some interesting items, including cell phone stands, earbud clips, and bookmarks.

Making use of open-source software, the library is able to go all the way from an STL file to a printed object.

We're looking forward to getting some more test prints out and seeing what this thing is capable of!

Stop by the library to learn more about our printer and other makerspace equipment, and visit our make! page for more resources!

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