The Innovation Library received a lot of news reports when it announced the opening of the innovation laboratory.
Free space for the public to use 3D printers, laser cutting machines and CNC milling machine
However, once the space is open, I have a question about logistics: how does it work?
If you want to 3D print an object, do you just walk in and start using Makerbot?
How much does this thread cost?
What machines are there?
Who is supporting the user?
So I went to visit and got some quick answers
It should be noted that the Innovation Lab is an experiment and the situation is changing rapidly, based on a visit in July.
The coolest thing about the lab is that 3D printing is almost free.
At the Chicago Public Library, all you have to do is pay for the filament (
Create \"plastic\" for 3D objects \").
Currently, for 3 inch cubes (pictured)
In a commercial 3D printing shop in Chicago, the price per hour is about $50.
As printing takes a few hours, the library only needs about $5 and $100
There are three MakerBot Replicator 2 in the Innovation Lab (3D printers).
Despite the hype, the duplicator 2 is not prime time, so the complexity does come up.
I know it\'s a revolution, I know it\'s the future, but when my work revolves around these machines and engineers who support them --
They may have problems.
After the print is successful, the print may fail frequently.
Objects slide down from the board, filament winding, machine blocking, software failure.
So my only criticism of the library is that the people who support these machines are librarians and their technicians --
Instead of mechanical engineers who have been swearing on these machines for years.
So if you go there, the machine is broken.
Just know that these machines are out of order anywhere you go.
The innovation lab also supports laser cutting machines and has CNC milling machines that were not yet in use when I visited.
The second biggest advantage of innovation labs is the curriculum
The schedule is here-
This is the missing part of most plans
Free classes for beginners.
Register in advance as the \"digital toolbox\" course is booked throughout the month.
At other times, the space is open and the public can go in and use it without an appointment. OP-
EDDon will not close the space after December 31.
This is my request to the library and the public.
The amount of time needed to add to these machines is huge, and librarians did a great job supporting these machines and these initiatives early in the project. It needs time.
The public is learning about this space-
It takes time for the word to spread.
People need to see what machines can do.
Only then will they come up with the idea that these machines are needed.
The staff are friendly and enthusiastic, and for experienced designers with 3D printing experience, this space is the most affordable prototyping place in the city.
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