Monday, March 21, 2016

Digital Media Lab and 3-D Printing

MAC ComputerSilver Spring Library now has a Digital Media Lab.  What does that mean?  The Digital Media Lab is a creative and learning space with 7 MAC computers where customers can use advanced software to design, develop and innovate.  Computer coding? Yes.  Digital Photography? Yes. Animation?  Yes.  Web pages?  Yes.  And much more.  These aren't the computers you use just for email.  Come with your creativity.

Some of what's available:
  • Adobe Creative Suite includes InDesign (publishing software), Illustrator (graphics editor), and Photoshop (picture editing software)
  • Garage Band (helps create music and podcasts)
  • iMovie (video editing software)
  • Cura (3-D printing design software)
  • Xcode (coding software for Apple)
  • GitHub (coding software)
For individuals, lab computers are available on a first come, first served basis.  All Digital Media Lab users must be 14 or older, complete a user agreement, and have a valid library card in good standing. Teen volunteers are available most days after 3:00 PM to assist customers in the lab.

You might want to get ready to use the lab by taking some of the classes offered on Gale Courses which are available through MCPL.  Free courses in web design, digital photography, graphic design, and the Adobe Creative Suite are available. All you need is a library card.

Toy and light switch examples of 3-D printing

3-D Printing is the process of making a three-dimensional object from a digital design file. Successive layers of material are laid down until an object is complete.  Each layer is a thinly sliced cross-section of the object.  Customers must agree to the 3-D user agreement and submit a 3-D Printing request.  A $1.00 fee is charged for each file submitted along with a charge of 5 cents a gram for the filament used. The library uses Printrbot Plus printers with PLA (polylactic acid) filament, which is recyclable and biodegradable.