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Innovation Lab

Located on the Third Floor of Central Library

Regular Hours

Monday 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Tuesday 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Wednesday 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Thursday 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Friday 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Saturday 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Sunday Closed

About the Innovation Lab

Our lab is now located on the third floor of the Central Library in the northeast corner. The lab is about four times larger than the original space.
 
Our Innovation Lab was originally funded by a state Library Services and Technology Act grant in 2013 when we opened the Central Library. Since then, thanks to generous donations from our community, we've been able to slowly expand the lab to add additional machines. The new space was funded in part by the California State Library. 

Available Equipment & Resources

3D Printing & Scanning

Lab Policy

  • You can have one item printed per day up to 2 hours a day.
  • Machines are available for use on a first come first served basis.
  • For print jobs longer than 2 hours, appointment is required (minimum 1 week notice would be ideal)
  • Patron must bring in .stl file format for objects to be printed.
  • All files will be inspected and sliced by lab volunteer/staff prior to printing.
  • Only Lab staff/volunteers can operate the 3D printers.
  • Computers in lab are for scanning and slicing 3D objects only.
  • The library reserves the rights to close down the lab at anytime for programs or maintenance with little or no notice.

Cost of Printing & Information on Filament

  • 3D printing & 3D scanning are free at Central Library at this time.
  • The library provides PLA filament for all print jobs.
  • We rotate through different filament colors throughout the year.
  • Donations to help offset cost of filament at the rate of $1/hr. are appreciated. 

Printers & Scanners

Resources & Support

Since our Maker Lab opened, 3D printing has been very popular. We found that the most rewarding thing about 3D printing is being able create your own 3D models.
 

Free Downloadable Software for 3D Modeling:

Free Web Based Software for 3D Modeling:

Other Fun Sites:

  • Thingiverse - A library of free 3D files you can download to print
  • Cookie Caster - Create a cookie cutter by creating a 2 dimensional design

Silhouette Cameos | Vinyl Cutters

Lab Policy

  • Cameos are available on a first come first served basis.
  • Limited help from library staff and volunteers are available depending on availability.

Using the Silhouette Cameos

  • The Silhouette Cameos are free to use.
  • The library provides access to the Sketch pens, ratchet blade, and fabric blade.
  • Patrons are responsible for bringing in their own materials for cutting. Materials can now be purchased at the Library Shop on the first floor of Central Library.
  • Silhouette Cameos will accept files: .studio3, .dxf, .jpg, .pdf, .gif, and .gsp.
  • Materials can be up to 12" wide. Length is limited to 12" for paper and can be longer for certain materials.

Resources & Support

Patrons are expected to operate the Silhouette Cameos on their own since most projects do not take that much time to complete and cutting materials can vary. However, our volunteers in the lab can assist with setting up the machines as needed. We also offer classes on how to operate the machines through the year. 

Classes & Workshops:

  • We offer various design classes for teens in the IDEA Lab and Digital Art class for adults. Please check our events calendar at sdplcalendar.org for more information. 
  • We also offers free monthly Arts & Crafts workshops for adults where students can learn how to use the Silhouette Studio software to create designs for custom cards/paper crafts/vinyl decals.

Free vector graphics software compatible with Silhouette Cameos:

Silhouette Cameo Uses:

  • Silhouette Cameos can cut and draw on different types of materials. 
  • Card making or scrapbooking
  • Make custom vinyl decals
  • Make stencils for glass etching or screen printing
  • Cut fabric for custom textile projects
  • And more!

Sewing Machines

Two sewing machines were originally funded by a mini grant from MIT Club of San Diego to support STEM/STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) Education. The machines will be used to teach wearable electronics and soft circuit workshops. They will also be available for public us in our lab.
 
Now the Maker Lab has 8 sewing machines and a serger!
 

Using the Sewing Machines

  • Patrons must be trained to operate the machine prior to using the machine
  • Patrons are responsible for providing their own materials/consumables

Sewing Machines

Brother LB6800PRW | Project Runway™ Limited Edition Combination Machine
  • Import Designs Directly from your Computer
  • 70 built-in embroidery designs, 5 embroidery fonts and 120 frame pattern combinations
  • 67 built-in sewing stitches with 98 stitch functions
  • Easy-to-view back-lit, touch screen LCD display
  • On-screen reference guide in 16 languages
  • Quick-Set™ drop-in bobbin and advanced needle-threader
  • Built-in push button thread cutter
  • Large 4” x 4” embroidery area
  • For specifications and additional information about this sewing machine, please see here.
Brother HC1850 | 130-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine with Built-in Sewing Font & Wide Table
  • 130 built-in stitches, including 8 one-step auto-size buttonhole styles
  • 1 built-in monogramming sewing font, perfect for basic monogramming
  • 170 stitch functions for garment construction, quilting, decorative and heirloom sewing
  • Convenient flip chart attached to front of machine shows all built-in stitches
  • Detachable wide table for larger projects
  • Large Backlit LCD display with intuitive push-button stitch selector
  • Exceptional feed system – sew on a wide range of fabrics
  • Adjustable sewing speed
  • For specifications and additional information about this sewing machine, please see here.
Brother CS6000i | 60-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine with Wide Table
  • LCD display with easy-to-use stitch selector
  • 60 built-in stitches including and 7 styles of 1-step auto-size buttonholes
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Super easy bobbin winding system
  • Electronic variable speed control
  • Included oversized wide table for larger projects
  • Brightly Lit LED Work Area
  • Built-in free arm for sewing cuffs and sleeves
  • For specifications and additional information about this sewing machine, please see here.

Serger

Brother Homelock 1034D | 3/4 Thread Serger with Differential Feed
  • Two needles and 3-4 thread
  • Versatile stitch options allow you to choose from 4 thread overlock, 3 thread overlock, narrow hem, rolled hem, and ribbon lock stitches.
  • Differential fabric feed for better stitch quality
  • Easy color-coded threading
  • Fast, up to 1300 stitches per minute
  • The stitch width can be easily adjusted between 3.00mm to 7.00mm, helping to provide the perfect stitch width for your project
  • Presser foot pressure adjustment dial
  • 2-point thread tension control device allows for smoother delivery of thread, and the tension for each needle can also be individually adjusted, for even more precise control for each type of thread.
  • Free Arm for Sewing Cuffs and Sleeves.
  • Retractable knife blade helps prevent against accidentally cutting your fabric when you're working close to the edges of rolled hems.
  • Brightly Lit Work Area
  • Safety feature prevents operation when the front cover is open
  • Uses standard sewing machine needles
  • Built-in storage allows you to keep accessory tools on the front panel flip-down door, and use the removable trim trap to store the foot controller, and to collect trim while serging.
  • Bilingual operation manual and instructional CD
  • For specifications and additional information about this sewing machine, please see here.

Resources & Support

Patrons are expected to operate the Silhouette Cameos on their own since most projects do not take that much time to complete and cutting materials can vary. However, our volunteers in the lab can assist with setting up the machines as needed. We also offer classes on how to operate the machines through the year. 

CNC Milling Machine

Lab Policy

  • The Maker Lab currently has a Carvey CNC Milling Machine by Inventables.
  • Carvey is available first come first served.
  • You must be trained on the Carvey prior to using the machine.

Using the Carvey Milling Machine

  • The use of the machine is free.
  • Library provides access to some drill bits, however, it's recommended that you bring your own bit if you have a specialized project.
  • Library does not provide the materials for the machine.
  • Files must be .svg.
  • To use the Carvey, all files must be imported into Easel to communicate with the machine. 

Things you can make/cut with the Carvey:

  • PCB Circuit boards
  • Wooden toys/signs/etc.
  • Stamps
  • Aluminum 
  • ABS Plastic
  • Machine Wax
  • and more!

Appointments

To make an appointment:

  • Stop by our lab to get estimate on how long it'll take to print your object.
  • Contact us to make an appointment at: [email protected]
For large objects, we recommend that you stop by the lab first to get an estimate of how long it'll take, then make an appointment. We also recommend that you make your appointment at least one week in advance.
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