New Library MakerSpace Opens to Public
The Driggs branch of the Valley of the Tetons Library has doubled in size with the new addition being a dedicated MakerSpace available for the community to explore, learn, repair, and create with a variety of different media.
For the youngest “makers” there is a dedicated “Playroom” ideal for toddlers to create with blocks, train tracks, puzzles, toys, play kitchen, and more (adult supervision required).
Venturing deeper into the space, you will find a wall of computers in the “Cyberspace” many of which are connected to some of the more complex tools and technology such as the Laser Cutter/Engraver, the 3D printer, and photo printer.
Centrally located in the heart of the facility is the “Workshop” consisting of shelves full of materials to upcycle or use for repairs including electronics parts, fabrics, wood scraps, scrap metal, and assorted knick knacks. Large work tables are accompanied by shelves full of specialized tools allowing you to bring in your small items for repair or to create something new.
Popular tools such as the 3D pens make fixing cracked items extremely easy thus extending the life of your product. The 3D printer can even manufacture replacement parts such as battery covers or missing pieces. Looking for odd sized screws, specialized screw drivers, soddering tools? They’ve got it all – and Master Tinkerer, Tucker Tyler, who runs the MakerSpace has the knowledge to help you get started on your project or repair.
Tucker’s passion for reducing waste, repairing and extending the life of products, and consuming less all shine in his “empire” at the new Maker Space. His years of dedication at the library have helped make this community space a reality.
But wait… there’s more. In the back rooms nestles a professional recording studio for all of your audio or video recording needs. In the future, there will also be some Maker/Kitchen Space installed and likely a hooded/ventilated area for more industrial projects.
These spaces are available by reservation to groups of up to 5 people for 30-60 minute time slots (Drop ins are currently not allowed due to COVID precautions)
Some fun recommended repair ideas that you might consider include:
- Embroidering patches on your torn clothing with the high-tech Embroidery/Sewing Machine
- Hemming pants, taking in seams, or other minor clothing alterations with the Sewing Machines
- Hot glue guns for sticking parts back together quickly and securely.
- Fixing holes or cracked plastic gadgets or cases with the 3D pen – so easy to use!
- Printing replacement parts or pieces to any of your plastic items with the 3D printer.
- Soddering electronic wires to restore your glitchy electrical item and give it a new life
- Finally being able to unscrew that weird shaped tiny screw in a gadget with their wide array of “weird shaped screwdrivers”!
- Using the Laser Engraver to add cool designs or logos to diverse materials (fabric, leather, wood, plastic)
Tucker echoes TVCR’s sentiment that the best way to reduce waste is to stop buying so much stuff in the first place. Second best is to repair and extend the life of what you have – and to bypass some of the “planned obsolescence” of modern-day electronics. Tucker is currently exploring ways to upgrade operating systems, batteries, and other limiting factors that drive many people to dispose of gadgets and buy the newer version.
The MakerSpace will happily accept donations of working and non-functional electronics, which they wipe clean of data and repair, if possible, to loan out to community members needing a cell phone, tablet, or laptop who may not have one. They also love to reuse your scrap odds and ends, like cork, bits of wood, metal scraps, and random electrical parts. Just ask before you drop something off. (If they can’t use it, you can likely recycle it at the transfer station.)
Currently no structured classes are being offered at the MakerSpace, unless organized by a home school pod or other “family group”. The space is designed to encourage exploration and creativity as well as to encourage the mindset of repairing and reusing what we have.