Article: 3D, robotics technology comes to Beaufort County Library

We’re getting some nice publicity from the Island Packet!

Trying to remain relevant in the digital age has led the Beaufort County library system to create a place where people can explore the realms of 3-D and robotics.

Starting at 1 p.m. Friday, the St. Helena library will open its CreationStation to visitors of all ages. The station will house a variety of gadgets, from 3-D printers to small robots, to teach both kids and adults about electronics, robotics and technology. It will eventually go on the road to other libraries and to schools in the county…

Read the full article here, and watch the video below:

Meet your inner ‘maker’ at Beaufort County Library

The Island Packet has published an article about the CreationStation, by our own Melanie Florencio, Computer Lab Instructor at St. Helena.

From the article:

Next time you stop by your local library, check out books and then attend a free class on how to design and print out your own plastic toy.

Yes, you read that right.

The Beaufort County Library is the recipient of a $25,000 federal Library Services and Technology Act grant funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and administered by the State Library of South Carolina. Libraries across the nation are adding makerspaces to their facilities: places to create through mentorship, conversation, innovation, collaboration and tinkering. As a result, new innovative technology such as 3-D printers, a laser scanner, Arduino boards, Raspberry Pi computers, Bristle Bots and Little Bits robotics will be available for the public of Beaufort County to access freely.


Photos from the CreationStation

Wooden dog model on 3D scanner

The Digitizer is a 3D scanner. It scans the object on the plate, then renders it with a piece of software called MakerWare (from MakerBot). If you’re happy with the scan, you can print it out on the 3D printer. Here the 3D scanner attempts to scan our lab instructor’s wooden dog.

3D printer printing teapot

The MakerBot prints a tiny teapot. This teapot is solid on the inside – so we can’t put tea in it, but it’s great for a pretend tea set.

Original toy and 3D printed model

We borrowed a toy longhorn (left) from the St. Helena children’s librarian, scanned it using the MakerBot Digitizer, and printed from the scan. The bits of plastic under the “clone’s” belly are from the printed supports used to hold it up during the process. These can easily be sanded off.

LittleBits and manual

LittleBits are electronic modules that snap together with magnets. Because there’s no wrong way to put them together, they help younger kids learn about electronics. Our staff love them, too!

We’re still seeking volunteers!

We are currently seeking volunteers to help as teacher assistants and instructors for the CreationStation. Do you have what it takes? Do you consider yourself tech savvy? Or, would you like to learn more about electronics and ‘making’? You can do all of this by volunteering. If you are interested, please contact us at 843-255-6547 and we can get the process started.