Blog Post

Durham County Library Makerspace -- First Travail

Here to provide an update on DCL's new Makerspace. We just finished training DCL staff on the basics of the space, and we will be throwing our doors open for the first time on Saturday, September 27th.

Which makes the latest development nerve-wracking.

Our 3D printer is a Makerbot 5th Generation. It uses PLA plastic exclusively, which it heats and squeezes through a device known as a Smart Extruder. Our Smart Extruder is now clogged and the printer cannot function without an extruder. Fortunately, we are still inside of the 6 month warranty window, so we will not have to purchase a $200 part-- though we may anyway, just to have an extra on-hand. Likewise, we won't have to crack open the Smart Extruder for cleaning-- something the part is not designed for.

Makerbot was pretty terrific about the whole thing, but it's still scary not to have a functioning printer a month away from our first big event. Plus, this is time that could be spent learning, finding out what prints result in melted abominations covered in support materials and which are beautiful and lovely. (Hint: a broad, solid base on any object seems to obviate the worst problems).

The good news is I mostly managed to finished printing set pieces for John Davis' monthly "D&D in the Library" program on Saturday. There's been an uncharacteristic lack of Facebook posts about the event, so I'm really curious to ask him how things went.


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