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Showing posts from March, 2015

Getting comfortable with our 3D printers

Having been lucky enough to have won the 3DSystems national competition for the 2 Cube 2 3D printers, we also had an Ultimaker 2 in the pipeline, so now we are the proud owners of 3 3D printers for public use.

The Cube2s are small, a little finicky and do not have a heated build plate, which makes the end product a little rougher than the outcomes rom the Ultimaker 2.

Basically, though, operating the two different kinds of 3D printers is fairly similar.

The most difficulty we have had has been getting the build plates to be level and the nozzle-build plate distance optimal.

We had old friend, Kevin Osborn, from Newton, come to give us a complete overview of how the Ultimaker 2 works and give us some tips & tricks.

The LED screen in the front is the control panel for running it. Projects are loaded up from either TinkerCad or AutoDesk Inventor, through the freeware program called CURA, which actually translated the CAD image into the instructions for the 3D printer to follow.


Visit to PAX East: Part 2: Lending Libraries and 3D Printing

One of the coolest things about PAX East from a librarian standpoint was the amount of pop up libraries. There was a Table Top Gaming Library where anyone could check out and demo a board game. There were also reserved rooms with a Free Play Console Library, Retro Console Library, and Handheld Gaming Library where anyone could check out a video game and play with their friends on provided consoles. These rooms were filled with people, so much so after the exhibit hall closed that I didn't even get a chance to get in. What about taking those old working gaming consoles from home and building retro kits to circulate at the library? Who doesn't miss playing GoldenEye for the N64 on multiplayer? Does your library host a game night for adults not just teens? Trust me the demographic at PAX East was mostly game obsessed adults 30 + yrs old. Most libraries have board games available to play, usually in the Teen Area but when is the last time they were updated? or actually allowed t…

Visiting PAX East Part 1: Oculus Booth

Growing up in a generation that has seen so much technological change in one lifetime it takes alot to impress me these days but a visit to the Oculus Booth at the PAX East Convention yesterday was well worth the ticket price. I left the demo feeling awestruck and humbled to live in such a technologically rich lifetime. Seriously, we will probably see Skynet.

If you haven't heard of the Oculus Rift, it's a stereoscopic (you can see full 360 degrees) virtual reality headset that is going to be affordable for consumers. If you signed up for the PAX East App, you were able to schedule in advance a short time with the Oculus Cresent Bay demo. After experiencing the satisfaction of cutting the 2 hour line, you were taken to a dark room with the headset, a mat to stand on, and of course someone to guide you through the process.  The demo plays highly detailed example scenes from as a beautiful Minecraft-ish meadow full of animals to a realistic Jurassic Park like scene with a T-Rex…

Starting a new format for Tinkering

Yesterday, we began a new format for running our Tinkering Tuesday sessions.

It's drop-in, it's open to 6th grade and up.

We have three activities with three librarians running them and people can stay with one and dig deep, or move from station to station to try things out.

This week we had our two new Cube2 3D printers with a bunch of laptops open to TinkerCad online. We started out printing some pre-designed forms we got with the printers, but the teens jumped right into  teaching themselves Tinkercad basics and turning out their own models.

We had an area devoted to Lego Mindstorm and WeDo where a group built some robotic vehicles and a Ferris Wheel.

The last area was a soldering station where people could put the Makerbot badges together. This table will change next week to a more non-electronic craft activity and we feel it might be fun to cross pollinate the high and low tech projects to see what might come of it down the road!