Fun with Blender (3D modeling)

Last week we told you about Blender, the free, full-featured modeling software. Stuart, our Systems Specialist, has used it to create some of his own models. This 747 is his latest. Click on it to view the full-size version.



Maker Monday Club

Maker Monday Club was recently held at the St. Helena Branch Library! On January 13 attendees ages 8-adult had the opportunity to play with the littleBits kits. As you can see from the pictures, a lot of fun exploring, tinkering, and making was had.

The next Maker Monday Club at the St. Helena Branch Library will be Monday, February 17th, 5:30-7:30pm. Hope to see you there!

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!