Hands-on learning comes to Baldwin
Explore. Tinker. And learn! Our Idea Lab is our newest space, where big ideas come to life. Newly opened on September 5, the Lab is a place of collaboration where all ages and tech levels can explore their own ideas — or to join us for one of our how-to events. The Lab will continue to evolve as new ideas and innovations come along. Next time you’re in the Library, stop in and see what’s new. And check this page often, as it will be updated frequently with new information and events.
How To Use The Lab
About Laser Cutting
One of the most exciting parts of the Lab is access to state-of- the-art equipment. We have unique and useful machines that will help you bring your creations to life, including:
• Full Spectrum H-Series Laser Cutter with a 20″ X 12″ inch cutting area
• CubePro Duo 3D printer with a 9.5″ (width) X 9″ (height) X 10.5″ (depth) printing area
If your print will take more than 2 hours, then give us your .stl file and email address and we will print it when we are able to and then email you when it is ready for pickup. Please come in, say hi, tell us about your project, and print it if time allows. If there is not enough time for your print, leave it with us to print when we are able.
MAKE A LIGHT-UP BOOKMARK WITH THE LASER CUTTER
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 6 AT 6:30 P.M. OR
TUESDAY, JANUARY 9 AT 6:30 P.M.
Watch the laser cutter in action as it cuts out a paper bookmark. Then learn how to add a circuit to power a small light in the bookmark. Registration required.
DROP-IN: CREATE AN ORNAMENT OR POP-UP GREETING CARD
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2 FROM 10:00 A.M. TO 4:00 P.M.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 16 FROM 10:00 A.M. TO 4:00 P.M.
Drop-in any time between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm to select a card or ornament design to make. Then watch as our laser cutter creates your design.
Our new computer lab is ready to help you kick your creativity into high-tech gear. It’s located right next to the Idea Lab and features six computers with a variety of design software:
- Vector graphics editors used to design for the laser cutter: Adobe Illustrator and Inkscape
- Computer-aided Design (CAD)/3D modeling software used to design for the 3d printer:
TinkerCAD, SketchUp, etc.
In addition to this machine-related software, you can also access:
- Adobe Creative Cloud (Full Suite)
- Unity 2017
- Microsoft Office
The computer lab is accessible at any time the library is open, but the lab computers do require a pass to use. You can receive a pass to use the software in the computer lab from Idea Lab staff or from a librarian at the Adult Services reference desk.
Idea Lab User Agreement
To use the Idea Lab in any way you must sign and submit the Idea Lab User Agreement and Liability Waiver. You must also verify your identity with a photo ID and/or library card.
To use the Idea Lab in any way you must sign and submit the Idea Lab User Agreement and a liability
waiver. You must also verify your identity with a photo ID and/or library card.
There will be no material costs for Idea Lab certification and no material costs for most Idea Lab events, but any items made on your own may require material costs.
3D printing will charged by the gram and is payable at the Circulation Desk. There is a $1 minimum charge for any print plus a $0.15 per gram charge beyond the initial $1 cost. We will round down if the weight decimal is below a half gram and round up if the weight decimal is above a half gram (e.g. an item weighing 10.44 grams will be charged at the 10 gram price and an item weighing 10.84 grams will be weighed at the 11 gram price).
We will have some materials for the laser cutter available for purchase, but this should not be relied upon and exactly what we have may change. We will try to keep a regular supply of cardboard (free, just ask —
used for testing patterns), paper, acrylic, and wood items, but exactly what types of these items we have will change and we cannot guarantee supply at all times. If you have questions about what is available please email us. You may bring in your own material to use on the laser cutter, but it must be inspected by staff first to avoid any harm to people or machines. No vinyl, no unidentified plastics, no plywood, and no MDF will be allowed due to potentially harmful fumes released upon cutting. Please leave any identifying labeling on the material to help us inspect it, and bring in receipts if you have them. If you have questions about materials, please email us.
How to Use the Lab
The Idea Lab is open to BPL cardholders and guests who have signed and submitted the Idea Lab User Agreement and liability waiver. It is best suited for users 10 years of age or older. An adult, 18 years or older, must supervise users under age 10 at all times. Users aged 10-17 must have a parent or legal guardian sign the agreement form on their behalf.
Using the 3d printer or laser cutter requires one-on-one ‘certification’ on each machine, which lasts 1 to 2 hours. We want to meet you, ensure a safe and collaborative environment for people and machines, and help you make what you want to make and learn what you want to learn. These can be completed at the same time or separately. Any user who receives certification for the 3d printer or laser cutter can reserve time on the machine through our Idea Lab calendar. Machines can only be reserved during open lab hours when a staff member is present.
To meet us in the Lab and get certified on one of the machines:
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know which machine certification(s) you are interested in, what times would work for you, and what experience you have with these machines (no experience is necessary!). We will reply as soon as possible to set up an appointment for you to come in and get certified. Once your appointment is set we will update our calendar.
- Come into the library at the planned time and learn about our lab and the machines! Upon successful certification we will update your Skedda account so that you will be able to make reservations on your own.
You can also drop-in to the Lab at any time during open hours for certification. However, we cannot guarantee that staff will be available at that moment to work with you. Appointments are preferred so that we can plan, but we will do our best to accommodate everyone.
After certification, to reserve time on a machine:
- Visit our Lab calendar at bplidealab.skedda.com. You will see two reservable options — laser cutter and 3d printer. You will also see available hours and unavailable/booked hours for those machines. Right now, reservations are set for a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of 2 hours (please see the 3d printing section of this webpage if your print will take longer than 2 hours). We are also restricting users to one appointment per machine per week, to make them as available to as many people as we can. You may also only reserve machines a maximum of 14 days in advance and a minimum of 12 hours in advance. Thank you for following our access procedures!
- Please see the 3d printing section of this webpage if your print will take longer than 2 hours. Thank you.
- Click to make a reservation on the machine of your choice. Please only reserve one machine at a time. Log in to your Skedda account, complete the form (including the notes field), and submit to make your appointment. You will receive an email verifying the reservation and should see the calendar update if you’ve completed it correctly.
- You can also email us at email@example.com(link sends e-mail) to make an appointment if you prefer email. We will respond as soon as possible.
- Arrive at the Lab at your scheduled time and check-in with staff before using any of the machines. After check-in you are free to use the machines. Staff will be in the Lab if you have questions.
You can also drop-in to the Lab at any time during open hours for machine use if you’ve already been certified, but we cannot guarantee that machines or staff will be available at that moment to work with you. Appointments are preferred so that we can plan, but we will do our best to accommodate everyone.
Current open hours for the Idea Lab are:
Wednesday 12/6 – 10:30 am to 9pm
Thursday 12/7 – 9am to 9pm
Saturday 12/9 – 9am to 5:30pm
Monday 12/11 – 9am to 6pm
Tuesday 12/12 – 9am to 9pm
Wednesday 12/13 – 9am to 9pm
Thursday 12/14 – 9am to 9pm
Saturday 12/16 – 9am to 5:30pm
Baldwin Library Idea Lab
The Idea Lab is the Baldwin Public Library's new space for hands-on exploring, tinkering, and learning. We're here to encourage learning and collaboration through access to new technologies and machines. Currently we have a 3d printer and laser cutter available for use. ALL experience levels are welcome.
Monday - Thursday
9:30am - 9:00pm
Friday & Saturday
12:00pm - 5:00pm
Baldwin Public Library
300 W. Merrill St.
Birmingham, MI 48009
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Monday to Thursday
9:30 am - 9:00 pm
Friday and Saturday
9:30 am - 5:30 pm
12:00 pm - 5:00pm
November 22 - Closing at 5:30 pm
November 23 - Thanksgiving
December 24 - Christmas Eve
December 25 - Christmas Day
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January 15 - Open for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
April 1 - Easter
May 26-28 - Memorial Day Weekend
July 4 - Independence Day
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