Fab Lab of the Week: Westport, CT Library’s MakerSpace 3D Printing
The hottest attraction at the Westport Library is not a book or collection of DVDs, but rather two manufacturing units.
At the heart of the spacious library, an area called MakerSpace has been carved out to encourage creativity and the spirit of invention. Inside the space are two MakerBot Replicator machines — 3D printers, as they are more commonly known.
Librarians have observed an increase in vistors interested in 3D printing.
It was after a hugely successful Maker Faire last April that librarians started thinking about getting the 3D printer and creating a space just for makers, hence MakerSpace.
Reference librarian Margie Freilich-Den said the library helps its patrons with job searches, and the Maker Faire was just one step to encourage residents to “get back to our manufacturing roots” and encourage people with ideas to try them out. Maker Faire is sponsored by Maker magazine and is its own brand promoting innovation, invention and doing things yourself.
“It’s another way to use the library,” said Marcia Logan, the library’s communications coordinator.
Since the first 3D printer started operating in July, dozens of visitors have come in to see it, use it and learn.
One man brought in his patented design for a device that plugs into a car cell phone charger and locks the phone so it cannot be used to text or talk while driving. Another man brought his own patented design for a medical device, a type of catheter.
But most either try to see what it can do by choosing an item from a computer program of 3D designs called Thingiverse, or print something they need, like cases for iPhones, staff members said.
The Westport Library will be sponsoring a mini MakerFaire in April.