300 W. Merrill St. Birmingham, MI 48009 | (248) 647-1700

Idea Lab

The embroidery machine is down for repair. We will post an update here when it is working again.

CLICK HERE to download code for the AUTOMATIC ZEN GARDEN kit. 

CLICK HERE for AUTOMATIC ZEN GARDEN instructional video.

CLICK HERE to visit our YouTube Page, which has all of our video instructions for current and past kits.

The Idea Lab is open for use. We are currently taking appointments by phone or email. If you’d like to use any of the lab equipment, call 248-554-4659, or send an email to idealab@baldwinlib.org. Scroll down to see our hours of operation.

Format Conversion now available

We are now accepting various forms of analog media for conversion to digital formats.

Currently accepted formats are:•Video Cassettes (VHS, VHS-C, 8mm/Hi8/Digital8, DV and MiniDV)•Audio Cassettes•Vinyl Records, LPs, etc. (33/45/78)•1/4″ Reel-to-reel audio tape•Film Slides (35mm, 110, 126, 127, and odd sizes)•Film Negatives•8mm, Super 8mm and 16mm motion picture film

And we are also able to extract data from older digital formats including 3.5″ and 5.25″ floppy disks, Zip disks, Jaz disks, etc., and convert their contents to formats compatible with modern computers.

You can bring your materials to The Idea Lab during our hours of operation. Be sure that they are in a bag or box, clearly labeled with your name and contact information. The lab must be open and staffed in order to drop off materials. Requests are limited to 10 items at a time. We may be unable to accept new requests if our request queue is full.

Please contact us via phone or email if you have questions about format conversion.

  3D Printing Now Available

 Submit your 3D models, we will print them out, and you can pick them up using our Curbside Pickup service, or by retrieving them from our Grab-and-Go area. For more information, see our 3D Printing section below.

 Upcoming Programs

IDEA LAB KIT: AUTOMATIC ZEN GARDENTHURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 8School is starting again, and that can be stressful! Achieve inner peace with this meditative project: an automatic Zen garden. Uses 3D printed parts and geared motors. Arduino controlled! It rakes itself!

Click here to register.

IDEA LAB LIVE: 3D PRINTER THINGSWEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21 AT 7:00 P.M.Join Jeff on Instagram Live as he demonstrates cool accessories and mods for your 3D printer at home or work!


THE IDEA LAB PRESENTS: LASER CUT HALLOWEEN JEWELRYMONDAY, OCTOBER 3Register to receive an exciting piece of laser cut acrylic jewelry made in The Idea Lab, and show off your Halloween spirit all month long!Choose either earrings or necklace, and pick one of our spooky Halloween designs: Ghosts, Skulls, Pumpkins, and more!

Click here to register.


IDEA LAB CLASS: ETCHING STEEL WITH LASERS AND CUSO4WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 12 AT 7:00 P.M.Join this interesting class in which Jeff will discuss an exciting new technique for engraving uncoated steel using the laser engraver.Complete instructions provided upon registration.

Click here to register.


Location - View Map

300 W. Merrill St.
Birmingham, MI 48009

Library Hours

Monday–Thursday: 9:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Friday & Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Sunday: 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Upcoming Holiday Closures

Wednesday, November 23: Closed at 5:30 p.m.
Thursday, November 24: Closed for Thanksgiving

3D Printing

The Idea Lab provides 3D printing services to you! If you have something you would like 3D printed, simply provide us with your 3D model files, and some information about what you’re printing. Your print will be added to the queue, and we will contact you to come and pick it up when it is done!

If you are unable to submit your request through this form please contact the Idea Lab for assistance.

There is currently no charge for 3D printing.

Per our User Agreement BPL reserves the right to halt, delete or disallow the creation of items that violate Library policy, including the creation of weapons and illegal items; and to manage the 3D print queue to best accommodate demand from the Lab’s many users.    


Contact Us

Email: idealab@baldwinlib.org

Phone: (248) 554-4659


 Materials List


We most commonly print using PLA, but we can print using just about any commercially available filament. Including:

  • PLA – Polylactic acid
  • PETG – Polyethylene terepthalate, glycol-modified 
  • TPU (Flexible) – Thermoplastic polyurethane
  • ABS – Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (We don’t like to print ABS if we can avoid it. We recommend PETG instead.)
  • ASA – Acrylonitrile styrene acrylate
  • PEEK – PolyEtherEtherKetone
  • HIPS – High impact polystyrene
  • NYLON – FDM Polyamides
  • and more!

For more information on 3D Printer filament types:  Click here for a helpful article comparing all currently marketed filament varieties.

    Hours of Operation

    Normal Operating Hours:

    Monday, 9:30am to 9pm

    Tuesday, 9:30am to 9pm

    Wednesday, 12:30pm to 9pm

    Thursday, 1pm to 9pm

    Friday, 9:30am to 5:30pm

    Saturday, 10am to 5:30pm

    Sunday, 12pm to 5pm

    Hours subject to change. Please call prior to your visit.



    Free Two-Hour Parking in Chester Street Deck

    Metered street parking around Library

    Free Parking on Sundays



    300 W. Merrill St.
    Birmingham, MI 48009

    Library Hours:

    Monday – Thursday: 9:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

    Friday & Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

    Sunday: 12:00 to 5:00 p.m.

    Holiday Closures:

    Wednesday, November 23: Closed at 5:30 p.m.
    Thursday, November 24: Closed for Thanksgiving

    Baldwin Library Idea Lab


    Explore. Tinker. And learn! The Idea Lab is our newest space where big ideas come to life and where people of all ages and tech levels are welcome. Drop in or sign up for a skill- or project-based class or make an appointment today to learn how to use our 3D printer or laser engraver. We also have a variety of tools available, including an embroidery machine, soldering equipment, design software, and more.

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