How to go create stuff at Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s makerspace

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I accidentally found Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s makerspace, and I was instantly awestruck.

Not only had I never actually seen a 3D printer in action before, but I also felt inspired by the community art pieces and notes of encouragement sprinkled throughout the space.

Makerspace-3D-Printer

Community-Art-on-display

I-can-board

My brain started flipping through my mental rolodex (this is still an acceptable metaphor, right?) because, clearly, everyone needs to know that this place exists. I’ve become an evangelist.

The Idea Box Makerspace is located on the first floor of the Main Library in Uptown.

Library-idea-box-from-inside

Charlotte-Library-uptown-idea-box

Inside-the-idea-box

Idea-Box-sign

Check out this list of resources available:

  • Makerbot 3D printers – two of them!
  • Vinyl cutter
  • Laser cutter
  • Sewing machines
  • Tablets (a variety, too!)
  • Autodesk 123D, CorelDRAW, and Inkscape – Each of which is a computer aided design (CAD) software
  • Looms
  • Cutting mat boards – the good, Olfa self-healing kind!
  • Large tables and counter spaces for working and collaborating
  • And people there to help you

Makerspace-Laser-Cutting

Makerspace-Loom

Makerspace-Sewing-MachineMakerspace-Sewing-Machine

I know; that’s a lot of exclamation points for me. This is the real deal, y’all.

To use the space, you need a library card and at least 12 years of age under your belt — that’s it.

And using the space is mostly free. Some projects require a small materials fee, like the PLA filament for the 3D printers, which is only 10 cents per gram.

3D-Printer-filament

So, if you could use easy access to some tools to get your idea into reality, this is a great spot for you. Or, if you’re like me, and you just want to learn how to use all of this cool stuff, perhaps while meeting some Charlotte creatives of all ages, this is also a great spot for you.

Check out the library’s Idea Box program offerings by going to the library’s calendar page and filtering for the Makerspace tag.

Makerspace-Screenshot

Let us know what you create by tagging @charlotteagenda on Instagram (I would also be personally curious, so @ba_stone, too, if you are so inclined.)

Happy making!

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Brittany Stone
Linguist. Fan of bookstore smells, hip hop, my backpack, and democracy. Freelance thinker. Beyoncé enthusiast.