Learn About 3D Printing And Doing Intricate Castings

3D printed original
Silicone mold

You can 3D print objects, primarily in plastic. However, you can also create 3D models which you can then use to make castings in other materials- jewelry in precious metals, figurines, miniatures, railroad and other collectibles, and even chocolate.

Henry Locke, Maker extraordinaire and creator of Flex Vat 3D printer components, built one of his 3D printers for us. SLA printing uses a vat of light sensitive resin cured by a video projector to create amazingly detailed forms- think Terminator with the alien rising out of the vat of goop!

The main focus of the presentation will be how to make silicone molds from 3d printed masters and using those molds to make castings:

  • Learn how the SLA printer works
  • Tips for designing and printing your 3D object to be casting-friendly
  • We’ll have one or more 3D prints to demo
  • We’ll make a silicone mold and make one or more polyurethane castings but also discuss how to work with other materials.

Watch a video of the SLA printing a heart! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QsVX98-eP8)

This event is free.

DATE: March 9, 2019

TIME: 1pm to 3pm


Create Your Own Snowflakes


Take snowflake making to a whole new level with an online snowflake creator that’s really easy to use. Yet, you can make simple as well as sophisticated designs.


You draw lines in the triangle on the right and, like a hall of mirrors or kaleidoscope, it duplicates your design in the 11 other triangles that make up a whole snowflake- giving you an amazing design quickly and easily. You see and edit your designs on the screen, so you can experiment without cutting up a whole ream of paper. Then, download the design to print and cut it out by hand. Even easier, bring the design file and some paper to the MakerLab and cut out dozens with the laser cutter to decorate your tree!

Edit by adding new lines, moving red dots, etc. When your sub-design is done, hit add. You can still add or edit more. At the bottom, the green box allows you to download to your device to print, etc.


Laser Cut Cards



Lately, we’ve had a lot of interest in laser cut cards- from birthday cards and wedding invitations to pop-ups of scenes and even people.




Working with paper, primarily card stock and heavier coated papers, is a lot of fun. Such papers come in a multitude of colors, but also textures and patterns. Faux leather, wood, and metal coatings provide many ways to express yourself with paper.

Because of the thickness of the paper, you can also etch designs and text onto the pages. See the white designs and text on the examples above.





Or, you can print something on the paper first and then create cutouts later using the laser cutter as we did with the Chicago skyline cutout.


Etsy and pinterest are full of examples of laser cut cards, especially wedding invitations. You’ll see how expensive they can be to purchase, but with a little time and effort at the makerlab you can make your own unique versions for a fraction  of the cost. We’d be happy to help you get started.

Because the papers vary so much, laser cutting the paper is a bit trial and error, so bring a few pieces to experiment with.