Innovation Lab

Image of the innovation lab while 5 teens work at various work stations on a library program project.

The Innovation Lab is a working space. Individual comfort levels may be affected by the odors and noises produced by the equipment in the lab.

Bloomington Library's Innovation Lab offers the community hands-on experiences working with innovative technologies. The Lab is equipped with 3D printers, a laser engraver, a Cricut cutting machine, sewing machines, an embroidery machine, a T-shirt press, a photography light box, a drawing tablet, and more. Computers in the Innovation Lab can access subscriptions to Adobe Creative Cloud and Fusion 360 (3D printer design software). 

A large portion of the equipment available in the Bloomington Library's Innovation Lab is thanks to a generous bequest made by Nancy Seidler and managed by the Bloomington Public Library Foundation.

Equipment is available to be reserved and used by patrons at the lab's workstations. Some of the equipment requires that a patron complete a certification class prior to use. Certification courses are required for the 3D printers, the laser engraver, the sewing machines, the embroidery machine, the Cricut cutting machine, and the T-shirt press.

Not all Innovation Lab equipment requires certification prior to use. If you see equipment you would like to use and it is not listed among the equipment that requires a certification class, you may proceed in reserving the equipment.

The library also offers programs focused on using the equipment in the Innovation Lab. View the calendar listings at right to learn more about these programs or to register. (Patrons attending Innovation Lab programs do not need to be pre-certified in the equipment being used to participate in the program.)

Innovation Lab Equipment

Glowforge Pro

The Glowforge Laser Engraver uses focused beams of heat to create patterns on different materials such as leather, wood, acrylic, some metals, etc. Patrons are able to create their own designs to engrave on their chosen material. Material being engraved must be approved by library staff. When reserving this lab station, please note the materials you plan to use. To reserve the Glowforge laser engraver, one must first successfully complete the library’s laser engraver certification class. Visit the Innovation Lab Request Certification form if you need to get certified. Once certified, patrons can use engraver by reserving one of our Innovation Stations using the green buttons at the bottom of this page. (Operating the laser engraver requires using the Glowforge Air Filter to purify air in the lab space for safety. Reserving the laser engraver automatically reserves the Air Filter.)

Cricut Maker

The Cricut is a computer-controlled cutting machine which allows patrons to create designs for crafting or personalizing items such as shirts, mugs, greeting cards, etc. The Circuit is able to cut cardstock, vinyl, some fabric, leather, chipboard, adhesive foil, felt, velvet, canvas, sticker paper, etc. A 12” x 12” cutting mat and other basic tools, such as scissors, are available when using the Cricut. Materials used in the Cricut must be approved by library staff. When reserving this lab station, please note the materials you plan to use. To reserve the Cricut, one must first successfully complete the library’s Cricut certification class. Visit the Innovation Lab Request Certification form if you need to get certified. Once certified, patrons can use the Cricut Cutting Machine by reserving one of our Innovation Stations using the green buttons at the bottom of this page. (Not all materials are adhesive. Be mindful of the materials your project requires when selecting materials to purchase.)

AeroGarden Farm

This indoor farm allows different herbs and veggies to be grown year-round. Its LED lights give plants a full spectrum of the light they need to grow. The AeroFarm Garden connects to WiFi allowing water levels to be monitored electronically. The AeroFarm Garden will primarily be used for library programs and is not reservable by the public. Patrons can view the different projects taking place within the AeroFarm when visiting the Innovation Lab.

Anycubic Kobra Max 3D Printer

Bloomington Library’s Innovation Lab offers several 3D printers. The Anycubic Kobra Max 2 is a great choice for those printing larger projects. 3D printers heat and mold filament to print designs created using 3D design software. Those printing in the library’s Innovation Lab will soon have access to a computer and the library’s subscription to Fusion 360 (3D design software). Filament used in the library’s 3D printers must be approved by library staff. When reserving this lab station, please note the type of filament you plan to use. To reserve the Anycubic Kobra Max 2 3D Printer, one must first successfully complete the library’s 3D Printer certification class. Visit the Innovation Lab Request Certification form if you need to get certified. Once certified, patrons can use the Anycube Kobra Max 2 3D Printer by reserving one of our Innovation Stations using the green buttons at the bottom of this page.

The library will offer grey filament for purchase for $15. To make this purchase, visit the Help Desk or Check Out Desk.

Bambu Lab 3D Printer

[TEMPORARILY UNAVAILABLE] Bloomington Library’s Innovation Lab offers several 3D printers. The Bambu Lab P1S Combo is a great choice for those printing multicolor print projects. 3D printers heat and mold filament to print designs created using 3D design software. Those printing in the library’s Innovation Lab will soon have access to a computer and the library’s subscription to Fusion 360 (3D design software). Filament used in the library’s 3D printers must be approved by library staff. When reserving this lab station, please note the type of filament you plan to use. To reserve the Bambu Lab P1S Combo, one must first successfully complete the library’s 3D Printer certification class. Visit the Innovation Lab Request Certification form if you need to get certified. Once certified, patrons can use the Bambu Lab P1S Combo Printer by reserving one of our Innovation Stations using the green buttons at the bottom of this page.

The library will offer grey filament for purchase for $15. To make this purchase, visit the Help Desk or Check Out Desk.

Anycubic Resin 3D printer

Bloomington Library’s Innovation Lab offers several 3D printers. The Anycubic Photon M3 Max uses resin -- instead of filament -- to print designs created using 3D design software. Because the Anycubic Photon M3 Max requires additional space for air filtration, it is not housed within the Innovation Lab. Patrons wanting projects printed using the Anycubic Photon M3 Max will need to request that library staff print their designs. While the resin 3D printer cannot be reserved, a patron wanting to use the computer with Fusion 360 (3D design software) will soon be able to reserve use of this computer/software by reserving one of our Innovation Stations using the green buttons at the bottom of this page.

Resin used in this 3D printer must be approved by library staff. When submitting a resin print job, please note the type of resin you plan to provide. The library will offer grey resin for purchase for $19. To make this purchase, visit the Help Desk or Check Out Desk.

To request that library staff print your resin 3D project, please click the button below labeled “Resin 3D Printer Request Form".

Resin 3D Printer Request Form

Sewing Machine

Bloomington Library’s Innovation Lab offers use of two sewing machines. Thread and fabric used in the library’s sewing machines must be approved by library staff. When reserving this lab station, please note the types of thread and fabric you plan to use. Machine needles will need to be purchased from either the Help Desk or the Check Out Desk for $0.75. To reserve one of the sewing machines, one must first successfully complete a certification class. Visit the Innovation Lab Request Certification form if you need to get certified. Once certified, patrons can use the Sewing Machine by reserving one of our Innovation Stations using the green buttons at the bottom of this page.

Embroidery Machine

Bloomington Library’s Innovation Lab offers patrons use of an embroidery machine. Using a hooping frame to keep the fabric taut, the machine automatically directs its needle and thread to create a design from a programmed digital pattern. Thread and fabric used in the library’s embroidery machine must be approved by library staff. When reserving this lab station, please note the types of thread and fabric you plan to use. Machine needles will need to be purchased from either the Help Desk or the Check Out Desk for $0.75. To reserve the embroidery machine, one must first successfully complete a certification class. Visit the Innovation Lab Request Certification form if you need to get certified. Once certified, patrons can use the Embroidery Machine by reserving one of our Innovation Stations using the green buttons at the bottom of this page.

T-Shirt Press

Bloomington Library’s Innovation Lab offers patrons use of a T-shirt press. Using heat, the T-shirt press transfers a design onto fabric. Materials used to produce the design must be approved by library staff. When reserving this lab station, please note the types of materials you plan to use. To reserve the T-shirt press, one must first successfully complete a certification class. Visit the Innovation Lab Request Certification form if you need to get certified. Once certified, patrons can use the T-Shirt Press by reserving one of our Innovation Stations using the green buttons at the bottom of this page.

Photography Lightbox

Bloomington Library’s Innovation Lab offers patrons use of a 20” x 20” DUCLUS photography light box. This light box allows one to capture sweeping shots via the large front window, mesmerizing macros using the small front window, or captivating overhead shots using the top window. Also available are several different colored backgrounds – white, black, grey, light orange, blue, and green. Patrons will need to supply their own camera. There is no certification course related to the light box. Patrons can use the Photography Light Box by reserving one of our Innovation Stations using the green buttons at the bottom of this page.

Drawing Tablet

Bloomington Library’s Innovation Lab offers patrons use of a Wacom Drawing Tablet. The tablet allows patrons to hand-draw images using a stylus, similar to the way a person draws with paper and pen. Created images are able to be saved electronically. The drawing tablet may not be taken out of the Innovation Lab. There is no certification course related to the drawing tablet. Patrons can use the drawing tablet by reserving one of our Innovation Stations using the green buttons at the bottom of this page.



Bloomington Library’s Innovation Lab offers patrons use of a laptop loaded with Fusion 360 Design Software. Fusion 360 is a computer-aided design application which allows patrons to create design files which can be uploaded to the 3D printer and then printed. To use this software, one must reserve use of the laptop loaded with the Fusion 360 software. Multiple pieces of Innovation Lab equipment may be simultaneously reserved. If you need to use both the Fusion 360 software and a 3D printer, make sure you check both boxes when reserving your Innovation Lab Station. 

The Fusion 360 laptop may not be taken out of the Innovation Lab. There is no certification course related to the Fusion 360 laptop and software. Patrons can use the computer with Fusion 360 design software by reserving one of our Innovation Stations using the green buttons at the bottom of this page.

Bloomington Library’s Innovation Lab offers patrons use of a laptop loaded with the Adobe Creative Cloud Software Suite. The Adobe Suite offers computer programs which assist in the creation of a wide variety of projects such as photo manipulation, graphic design, video editing, and more. To use this software, one must reserve use of the laptop loaded with the Adobe software. Multiple pieces of Innovation Lab equipment may be simultaneously reserved. If you need to use both Adobe software and another piece of equipment -- such as the Cricut cutting machine -- be sure to check both boxes when reserving your Innovation Lab Station. 

The Adobe Creative Cloud laptop may not be taken out of the Innovation Lab. There is no certification course related to the Adobe laptop and software. Patrons can use the computer with Adobe Creative Cloud Software by reserving one of our Innovation Stations using the green buttons at the bottom of this page.

Innovation Lab Programs

This event is in the "Teens" group.

Suntracking FlowerBot

5:30pm - 7:30pm
Bloomington Public Library
Full
Registration
Library Branch: Bloomington Public Library
Room: Innovation Lab
Age Group: Teens
Program Type: Innovation Lab, In-Person Program
Registration Required
Seats Remaining: 0
:

Teens will learn about circuitry and electronics as they create a robotic flower – a Suntracking FlowerBot -- that moves with the sun.

This event is in the "Teens" group.

Soda Bottle Flying Airplane

6:00pm - 8:45pm
Bloomington Public Library
Registration
Library Branch: Bloomington Public Library
Room: Computer Lab
Age Group: Teens
Program Type: Innovation Lab, In-Person Program
Registration Required
Seats Remaining: 10
:

Teens will use recycled soda bottles and cardboard to construct a flying airplane that they will power with a DC motor and battery.

This event is in the "Child" group.
This event is in the "Baby & Toddler" group.
This event is in the "Adult" group.
This event is in the "Teens" group.
This event is in the "Everyone" group.

End of Summer & Grand Re-Opening Celebration

10:00am - 12:00pm
Bloomington Public Library
Library Branch: Bloomington Public Library
Room: Community Rm 1
Age Group: Child, Baby & Toddler, Adult, Teens, Everyone
Program Type: Innovation Lab, In-Person Program
:

Celebrate the end of summer reading and explore our newly renovated building with a variety of activities for all ages!