Launch pad at Buffalo Erie County Public Library offers 3D printer

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) —It’s no secret that the Erie County Public Library has books upon books to read. One thing you may not know the library has is a maker’s space.

It’s a weird time of year. Too cold to spend time outside, too warm to play in the snow. One place you can take the kids to keep them busy is the Erie County Public Library. There they can engage in STEM activities while having fun.

Messiah, a student of School 54 in Buffalo, told News 4, “I like about all the science stuff and mostly everything!”

The area where all of the science fun can found is called the launch pad.

Mary Jean Jakubowski, Director of Erie County Public Library system shared with News 4 all of the fun things the library offers. She said, “We have a sound stage to a green screen, we have 3D printers, scanners, all kinds of gadgets and gismos that are related to science technology engineering and math.”

All are welcome to come and utilize the space, including large groups and classes and you don’t even need a library card to do so. All that’s required is minimal training, especially if you want to print things on the 3D printer.

Jakubowski said, “There is a training program that we put people through. It lasts about an hour. You need a reservation, and that clears you for use of the 3D printers.”

And if you can dream it, you can make it. People have made very practical items but also silly ones too.

She said, “We’ve had people make parts for their vacuum cleaners, we had someone come in and make a part for their motorcycle the other day! So these are things that are very practical, but it’s about creativity and a lot of fun.”

The craziest thing ever made on the printer? An engagement ring!!

Jakubowski said, “We had an individual come in and they wanted to make an engagement ring. They just thought it would be a really clever way of presenting the ring to someone and they did!”

This is the only library out of the 37 Erie County libraries to have a 3D printer so far but that is about to change.

She said, “Right now, our downtown central library is the only library that has the equipment physically. We do have another library our Collins Central Library that is in the process of purchasing a 3D printer.”

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