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Baldwin Library's Idea Lab going on a road trip

Baldwin Public Library’s popular makerspace, the Idea Lab, is going on the road this spring to share 3D printing and scanning options, beginning by showing local school students new tools at STEAM nights.


Jeff Jimison, Idea Lab supervisor, will present new tools at STEAM nights as part of the Baldwin Public Library’s outreach initiatives. At each STEAM night, teachers and local organizations display and exhibit fun, maker-themed projects to introduce students to science and technology in a variety of ways. Jimison will begin the Idea Lab's road show with elementary school students at Greenfield and Harlan Elementary Schools.


Baldwin Library said that this year, with support from a Michigan Architectural Foundation grant, the Idea Lab purchased six 3D Doodler Create pens, a 3D scanner, and a portable 3D printer. 3D Pens are a great way to introduce children to the concept of three-dimensional thinking, expanding the simple act of drawing with pen and paper into a unique, multidimensional spatial exercise. Jimison will share a small snippet of what users can create with tools in the Idea Lab to encourage more people to visit in person.


The Idea Lab runs during regular library hours and is open to use by anyone. In addition to their value as a method for demonstrating the power of computer-based modeling, 3D scanners can be valuable tools in the field of architecture, allowing for architectural elements, furniture, rooms, even entire buildings to be scanned and visualized on a computer screen. Taking that a step further, those scanned models can be rapidly printed on a 3D printer, enabling a sort of tactile and visual “preview” of the originals.


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