Looking for Library Makerspaces using Glowforge

Hi all, I have a Pro and love it. I am recommending my library include one in the Maker space they are planning. I would love to here how other libraries are using their Glowforge in the library setting. What are some mistakes, learned things to be aware of, and programing ideas.

I am also interested in finding Libraries near me that my team might be able to visit to see your set up. I am in the Hampton Roads section of Virginia.

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I know one of things that came up early was someone who set up in the middle of their library, which required them to use the filter - and the filters fill up fast, and at $250 a pop for the replacements that got outside the library’s budget quickly - so find a place where it can exhaust out a window!

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Do you have a GF in your library? I have told them that venting outside with an inline fan is better than the filter.

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I honestly couldn’t tell you - it’s possible, but I haven’t been in my local library in years. I do everything online.

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The Pasadena and Glendale (CA) public libraries have Innovation Labs with non-GF laser cutters. Some of the Los Angeles public library locations as well. I’m not affiliated with any of them, tho. Currently all closed to patrons but perhaps they’d answer an email?

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The Placentia Library in Placentia, CA, has one. They bought the pro and built their makerspace in the middle of the library. The main issue for them was ventilation. They bought the air filter, but it’s not really supposed to be used with MDF, and even with the cheap plywood they were cutting, they had an issue with smoke and fumes in the little room.

When they renovated the library, they didn’t think about adding a vent to the room, so they have to open the makerspace doors, and then the smell goes into the library. The space has been closed since the pandemic, but they were debating about cutting a hole into the ceiling to route the fumes out another way. Not sure if they ever did that.

That was the biggest complaint they discussed with me. They also started implenting an appointment system. So now they have a 20 minute policy and you need to bring your own materials. I had a friend go and they wouldn’t let her cut MDF because of the fumes, so she sent the project to me and asked me to cut it for her.

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That’s not a lot of time!

Mine’s in my high school library makerspace, but I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have! And yes, mine is land locked so we use the filter…but I’m never running really long jobs on it for the students.

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I think when people were first introduced to it, the same people were frequenting the space and engraving tiles…which takes a long time and doesn’t give many other people the opportunity to try it. I’m hoping they decide to get rid of it so I can try to buy it off of them. :rofl: :rofl:

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I am wondering why, you say that MDF is not recommended when most anybody that I’ve watched in YouTube videos use MDF? I haven’t received my GF yet, but just want to make i use correct material. Thank You, so much for your help.

It’s not recommended when cutting with the filter. Otherwise it’s a great material for a lot of projects. The problem is that MDF creates a lot of dust/particles so it will clog the filter pretty quickly. Works great if you’re exhausting through a vent to the outdoors. You just need to clean the optics more than some other materials.

There’s a chart GF has showing filter life by type of material and MDF is the worst - a matter of hours which is expensive ($250/filter replacement).

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And glue, sticky smoke.

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What @jamesdhatch said. I use mdf all the time, but I vent out of a window and I have to clean the machine often. The library was having issues with the smell and how fast the filter filled up from mdf.

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Thanks. Do you have lesson plans you might share, or a description of how you use the Glowforge with students?

You should check out the stuff posted by @theroar84. He creates videos walking through student projects and programs, and the designs for most (all?) of the projects :slight_smile:

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Thank You, so much for your help. I’m getting GF in May so I am trying to learn all that I can about it! Lol, I’m like a kid on Christmas Eve, I can barely sleep :laughing::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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We all were :grin: Many if us still are :relaxed:

Lots of no sleep nights designing & cutting ahead of you now.

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Thank you I will!

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Funny, I was just working on a post about this! I decided to finish it up tonight so I would have something to share:

First Makerspace Project: A Laser Name Tag

It’s rough and needs more photos (perfect is the enemy of done! :grinning:) but that will give you a basic idea of how I introduce the Glowforge to my students, and especially how I encourage them to work with each other.

After they do that initial nametag project, they each get a sheet of Baltic birch to cut whatever they’d like. They’ve done notebook covers, signs for bedrooms, bag tags…one student cut out names for chore chart magnets for their fridge, and his aunt liked it so much she requested he design a set for her family too!

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Oh my goodness (insert excited squeal here) , I can’t wait for those nights​:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::rofl:!

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