GCPCUG Field Trip: TechCentral MakerSpace

Blog Date
Julie Smith
Kevin F. Smith
Stuart O. Smith, Jr.

Greater Cleveland PC User Group Tour of TechCentral MakerSpace

Julie and Kevin were intrigued after reading Stuart’s blog post about the grand opening of the new Cleveland Public Library TechCentral MakerSpace, and decided to see it for themselves. They joined Stuart at the Greater Cleveland PC User Group (GCPCUG) “field trip” to TechCentral last Saturday, February 8, 2014, where they learned that so much is happening at the Cleveland Public Library (CPL.org - @Cleveland_PL)!

Cleveland Public LibraryCleveland Public Library, Louis Stokes WingCleveland Public Library, TechCentral Entrance
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The group of about 30 people was warmly welcomed by TechCentral Manager C.J. Lynce and TechCentral Coordinator Sam Tripodis about half an hour before the library opened to the public for a private tour of the new MakerSpace. They gave a very interesting introduction to the different pieces of equipment that make up TechCentral and its MakerSpace.

Stuart thought it was interesting that the library has software where you can make your own fonts.

If you bring an STL file (STereoLithography -- uses the .stl file extension -- for rapid prototyping), you can print your three-dimensional designs on the library's 3D printers. In addition to the single color printer, they now have a two-color printer.

TechCentral, with the addition of the MakerSpace, is now more than just a computer lab (although it has 90 computers available for use, plus offers free computer classes) -- it is a technology hub!

TechCentral Workshop Pamphlets & Business CardsTechCentral Provides Public Access to Professional Media Equipment
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500-800 people visit TechCentral each day to use the computers and learn the basics of the MakerSpace equipment, which includes:

  • Laser engraver

  • 3D printer

  • 3D scanner

  • Green screen and associated equipment for video recording

  • Guitar and bass for audio recording

  • Stop-action photography equipment

  • Vinyl cutter

All of this is available for use by the public – all you need is a library card!

The library is gearing up to provide training on the software needed to work with this new MakerSpace hardware, so check out their TechCentral computer classes web page for more details. During the tour, the Laser Engraver and the Vinyl Cutter were demonstrated, each creating items using the GCPCUG logo. Although raw materials for the equipment can be purchased at TechCentral, users are encouraged to bring their own.


Chroma Key DemonstrationLaser Engraving and Cutting Machine Demonstration SetupLaser Engraving and Cutting Machine DemonstrationLaser Engraving and Cutting Machine DemonstrationVinyl Cutting Machine ProductVinyl Cutting Machine ProductVinyl Cutting Machine ProductVinyl Cutting Machine"MakerBot Replicator 2" 3D PrinterTable-Top Light BoxLaser Engraving and Cutting Machine ProductLaser Engraving and Cutting Machine ProductsLaser Engraving and Cutting Machine Products3D Printer ProductsElectric Guitar and Bass3D Scanner3D Scanning Station ComputerChroma Key Green Screen3D Printer Products3D Printer Products
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Here are the photos published by CDPUG's Social Networking Manager Janet Dodrill on their "GCPCUG Visit to Cleveland Public Library" Facebook photo gallery:


Julie won a Make Magazine (@Make) at the GCPCUG (@GCPCUG) members raffle.

Make Magazine: "The Danger Issue" (Raffle Prize)



Mini Maker Faire

Julie, Kevin, and Stuart are already looking forward to the Cleveland Mini Maker Faire (MakerFaireCleveland.com - @MakerFaireCleve), which will be held on March 29, 2014. There are already over 50 booths confirmed for the Faire! Booths are expected to line the tunnel between library buildings and be spread through both buildings. It is going to be massive!

Announcing March 29, 2014 Cleveland Mini Maker Faire
Enlarge To Read Details

If you are a "Maker" who wants to participate, please be aware that the "Call for Makers" DEADLINE is February 28th.

Tweets & Retweets

Please be sure to take a look at the videos, photos and links provided in these tweets regarding GCPCUG and TechCentral.