Following the Pokemon Go craze and the water bottle flipping madness, the latest fad taking over is… Fidget spinners! Just like hacky sacs and yo-yos did it the past, these cool little toys are quickly gaining popularity with kids of all ages. And stores are constantly running out of stock!
Enter the YouTube videos: There are thousands of DIYs online on how to make fidget spinners; with zip ties, with shoe laces, with bearings, without bearings, the list goes on.
Our kids tried most of these alternatives when they couldn’t find the spinners in stores. However, they still wanted the real deal. So, after we lost our cool status as parents, yet again, when we refused to purchase them online and pay double the amount in shipping and handling, they decided to place a 3D printing order with the local library.
The Lulzbot Taz5 3D printer uses a PLA (polylactic acid) plastic derived from corn starch. The 3 mm filament is melted to a temperature of 205°C and the build platform on top of which the object sits, is kept at 60°C. The platform slides along the X axis as the print nozzle moves along the Y and Z axes to form one layer at a time in order to build the spinner.
Play the short video to watch the printer in action.
The fidget spinner can be assembled once it’s dry and cooled to room temperature. The bearing is then placed in the center and tapped in gently with a rubber mallet.
The rest of the pieces are added in, the hexagon nuts and the bearing caps.
And there you have it, the final product:
Simple, inexpensive and thank-goodness-for-this-3D-printer-because-my-kids-were-driving-me-bonkers fist bumps all around!
“Makerspace is a place where people come together to make projects in a communal space. It is a metaphor for a unique atmosphere that encourages tinkering, play, and open-ended exploration for all. A collaborative learning environment where people share materials, ideas, and new skill with one another. Our Makerspace enables community partnership, collaboration and creation.”
-People’s Place Antigonish Town & County Library
I visited the new Makespace with my son and was pleasantly surprised to see all the free equipment and software readily available to anyone who wants to use it. From STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning to artistic development, this wonderful space has everything to cultivate the imagination and innovation in every child, and adult.
Here are some of the cool things we discovered during our guided tour with Sarah Armstrong.
This takes Legos to the next level! Great opportunity for children to create and command their own robotic creations to move using the Mindstorms® Lego® series.
Great introduction to programing, coding and circuit building to create prototypes and awesome inventions.
This kit allows you to connect objects that can conduct electricity with a computer program, in order to turn the objects into touchpads. For example, you can make a banana piano where you use the bananas instead of the keyboard to make music.
The Silhouette Cameo
The Silhouette cutting machine is amazing for DIY projects. From simple cut-outs to stick-on vinyl creations… it does it all.
(Note: limited supplies can be purchased at the library at a low cost.)
The Singer® Sewing Machine
This top of the line sewing machine can be used for any sewing project.
This adorable machine is a scrapbooker’s heaven! It allows you to emboss and die cut cards, labels, tags, and much more.
(image from www.editingluke.net)
If you do, then you definitely grew up in the 80’s…
Well, Makerspace has the latest 3D viewer. You can download your own Apps and use them for this 3D virtual reality viewer. How cool is that?
A variety of software
AutoCAD for 3D design, Adobe Creative Suite CS6, Adobe Dreamweaver for web design, Adobe Flash for animation, Adobe Illustrator for creating designs and logos, Photoshop for modifying images and graphics are readily available for free.
The 3D Printer
This machine is AWESOME! You can create 3D models of anything, including the latest toy fad… fidget spinners! You can go to Tinkercad.com, download a design and email it to the library for printing.
(Note: there is a cost for the printer materials)
Combine the power of the 3D printer with the MakerBot® digitizer for even more possibilities. I remember seeing this on TV, but to actually have a digitizer available in town is very exciting!
The MakerBot® scans an item and turns it into a digital design which can then be printed in 3D! Watch the video below.
Great opportunity to convert old VHS tapes, collecting dust, into DVDs. Vinyl records and cassettes can be converted into CDs and MP3s as well.
The Makerspace is a wonderful place to create and stretch one’s imagination. I was very impressed with the quantity and quality of the technology, and the creative equipment available to the public for free.
Your children will love it!
Go check it out 🙂
Note: Make sure to call or email the library in advance to ask about availability.
Antigonish’s Peoples’ Place Library offers two full-spectrum light therapy lamps to support those who struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
SAD is a form of depression that lasts from Fall until Spring that saps motivation and cheer from the sufferer’s life.
The basic idea behind how a SAD Lamp box works is to simulate the effects of sunlight on the brain to promote a natural sleep cycles and general feelings of well-being.
Affordability and access are barriers for many people who could benefit from this form of therapy. Friends of the Antigonish Library, FoAL, are proud to sponsor free access to these lights within the library to all patrons during open hours.
SAD Light Therapy Lamp
FoAL Chair, Sarah Armstrong, and library staff member Crystal Wallace-Maceachern enjoy some sun exposure on a dreary day.
Why not. Get an early start on your spring cleaning and get the kids to participate too! Now is the perfect time to go through last year’s summer clothes, which they have probably outgrown. You can drop off clothing and footwear in the designated Canadian Red Cross bins closest to your area.