Makerspace

Life is a laboratory—come and experiment!

From learning how things work to inventing, designing, and creating, Do-It-Yourself (DIY) is all about making by hand and learning by doing. Crafts and maker programs are offered in the makerspace at Central and all neighbourhood branches except Kilbride.

It's a community place where people create, invent, learn together, and build skills for life.

The space and equipment are used only during library programs at this time. As we learn more about how you’d like to use this space, we’ll offer more opportunities as we grow.

Through maker programming, people of all ages can develop proficiency in 21st century skills/literacies—such as team work, critical thinking, initiative, self-direction, adaptability, and math, technical and design skills, to name a few. And have lots of fun while learning!

Equipment

Our laser cutter is available for use during Maker Open Studio sessions at Central branch. You must first attend one of our Laser Cutting 101 classes before using the laser. Outside materials must be approved by staff before use. For a list of all approved laserable materials, please ask our makerspace staff during an Open Studio.

The laser cutter has a cutting bed size of 12” x 24” and can cut many materials up to a maximum thickness of 1/4".

Hardware: Epilog Mini Helix 24 - 40w CO2 laser

Software:

  • Corel Draw (v17)
  • Inkscape

Cost: $5/every 30 minutes of laser cutting time

Materials:

  • 1/8” Birch Plywood (1’ x 2’) = $4.00
  • 3mm Acrylic: White, Black, Clear (1’ x 1’) = $5
  • 3mm Acrylic: Yellow, Blue, Red, Green (1’ x 1’) = $6
  • 3mm Acrylic: White, Black, Clear (1’ x 2’) = $10
  • 3mm Acrylic: Yellow, Blue, Red, Green (1’ x 2’) = $12
  • Double Thickness Mylar (8.5” x 11”) = $2
  • Low Odour Laser Rubber (8.5” x 12”) = $18
  • Low Odour Laser Rubber (8.5” x 6”) = $9

We have both a vinyl cutter and vinyl printer available for use during Maker Open Studio at Central branch. We have permanent, semi-permanent and heat-transfer vinyl available, along with the ability to print in full CMYK colour. You do not need to attend a class to use the machines, but you are encouraged to bring your designs in to be prepared for either the vinyl cutter or printer.

Hardware:

  • Roland BN-20 – Vinyl Printer
  • Roland GS-24 – Vinyl Cutter

Software:

  • Corel Draw (v17)
  • Inkscape
  • Roland Cut Studio
  • Roland VersaWorks Dual Print Management

Cost:

  • Use of the vinyl cutter with vinyl not purchased through BPL: $2/job
  • Use of the vinyl printer: $2.00/cc of ink used + the vinyl required (see Materials below). Vinyl to be used in the vinyl printer must be purchased from BPL.

Materials:

  • Coloured Vinyl for Cutting: White, Black, Blue, Copper (22” Wide) = $2/foot (length)
  • Transfer Paper for Cut or Printed Vinyl = $1/foot (length)
  • Glossy White Vinyl for Printing (18” Wide) = $2/foot (length)
  • Heat Transfer Vinyl for Printing – Includes Transfer Paper (18” Wide) = $6/foot (length)

We have a MakerBot Replicator Z18 at our Central and Alton branches that you can use after taking an introductory session, 3D Printer Certification. The library has 10 different colours of plastic filament available for use with the 3D printer: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, grey, beige, white, black; however; we are unable to accommodate customer requests for specific colours. Please call the branch before your visit to find out the Colour of the Day.

Our embroidery machine is available for use during our Fibre Arts Open Studio sessions at Central branch.

The maximum embroidery size is 7.9” x 11”.

While customers are required to provide the fabric to be embroidered, only the threads and backings provided in the makerspace can be used with the embroidery machine.

Hardware: Janome Memory Craft 500E

Software: Janome Digitizer V5

Cost:

  • To use the embroidery machine, there is an initial job fee of $2 for the first 10,000 stitches as well as an additional $1/every 5000 stitches (or part thereof).
  • For backing material, there is a cost of $0.25 per pre-cut square or $0.50 per linear foot cut from the roll (width)

BookArts Open Studio is an informal meet-up to share bookbinding techniques and personal projects with a master bookbinder. Open Studios run every 2 weeks at Brant Hills branch. Drop in. Ages 18+. Please check the events calendar for BookArts Open Studio dates.

We offer coding instruction for tweens (ages 10-12) through our Coding Club at Central. Coding Club teaches the basics of coding using a web-based version of Scratch. Each 8-week session or 4-day camp focuses on a specific theme such as Sports, Art, Game Design Music & Sound, Animation and more. Space is limited so we suggest signing up early to book a spot.

We have a number of sewing machines, sergers, and a cover stitcher available for use during our Fibre Arts Open Studio at Central branch. Bring your own projects and use the machines with support from staff. We also offer programs designed to help you learn how to use the machines.

Hardware:

  • Janome Sewing Machine
  • Janome Serger
  • Janome Cover Stitcher
  • Cutting Mats
  • Cutting Wheels

Cost:

  • There is no cost for using the sewing machines, though we recommend bringing in your own thread as the library’s colour selection is limited.
  • There is also no cost for using the serger, but you are limited to the colours of thread that the library has in stock.

Materials:

  • Bobbins: $1/bobbin
  • Needle Replacement: $4

Come to a weekly drop-in Virtual Reality demo at Central branch. Powered by SteamVR, a selection of VR experiences are available. For customers 12 years old and younger, a parent will need to sign a waiver form before they can participate. Participants must be 48” tall to use the system.

Hardware: HTC Vive VR System

DIY maker programs at Central:

  • Equipment: Snap Circuits, Cubelets, Little Bits, Makey Makey, Finch Robots, Arduinos, Mac computers, conductive materials
  • Types of programs: building; science- and engineering-related; basic robotics; basic circuitry, design

21st century skills/literacies in action:

  • Design
  • Creativity & innovation
  • Coding
  • Technology literacy
  • Art & design
  • Imagination
  • Digital technology
  • Intuitive & creative thinking
  • Logic & problem solving
  • Dexterity & coordination
  • Spatial reasoning

  • Equipment: Green screen, drawing tablets, Macs loaded with digital imaging software, 3D printer, iOgraphers, shotgun microphones, studio lighting, vinyl cutter, laser cutters, negative/photo scanner, VHS-to-DVD converter
  • Types of programs: vlogging; film making; drawing; design; card making; design

21st century skills/literacies in action:

  • Media literacy
  • Creativity & innovation
  • Imagination
  • Technology literacy
  • Digital electronics
  • 3D design
  • Science, basic engineering & math
  • Spatial & mechanical reasoning
  • Critical thinking & problem solving
  • Productivity & accountability
  • Collaboration & communication

  • Equipment: Sewing machines, knitting machines, weaving loom, Makedo cardboard construction tools, Straws & Connectors building sets
  • Types of programs: sewing, fibre arts including knitting, crochet, and felting; paper crafts; jewellery making; design; fabrication

21st century skills/literacies in action:

  • Art & design
  • Creative thinking & expression
  • Critical thinking & problem solving
  • Encoding & decoding
  • Manual dexterity & coordination
  • Initiative & self-direction
  • Productivity
  • Creativity & innovation
  • Collaboration & communication
  • Basic engineering & math
  • Spatial reasoning

Laser Cutting 101 introductory class

3D Printing Introductory class

Embroidery Machine 101 introductory class

Current maker programs at the library

3D Printing at the library