Natrona library's 'Creation Station' reopens with new tools like 3D printers, Glowforge laser cutters and more - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Natrona library’s ‘Creation Station’ reopens with new tools like 3D printers, Glowforge laser cutters and more

Eliana Orr looks at samples of printed fabric during the grand opening of the Natrona County Library’s new Creation i 2018 in Casper. The new space allows people to share equipment to create crafts and work on technology projects. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — The Natrona County Library’s “Creation Station” maker space has re-opened offering opportunities for “anyone in and around Casper who seeks access to best-in-class tech tools so they can take their creative projects to the next level.”

“Newly renovated with a larger space and an array of new advanced technology tools such as 3D printers, Glowforge laser cutters, and high-end sewing machines, the library’s Creation Station is a free community maker space where people of all ages and ability levels can get together to work on projects and share ideas,” the library said on Thursday. “Maker spaces like the Creation Station are often creative places where people can learn how to tap into emergent technologies, collaborate together, or start projects they may have only ever previously dreamed of.”

The Creation Station first opened in 2018 but has been closed as renovation efforts were underway.

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“We’re always looking for ways to offer more and stay ahead of the curve,” said NC Library Adult Services Specialist Conrrado Saldivar, who also worked as program manager for the expansion. “This unique partnership and grant opportunity has enabled us to increase the space, add many new tools and tech, hire 2 new staff through the Pre-ETS program, and expand our offerings.”

“Makerspaces are not just for tech savvy folks or engineers. These are spaces for anyone to use; and our hope is that the Creation Station, as an Innovation Wyrkshop, will demonstrate that anyone can be a maker.”

The Natrona County Library’s “Creation Station” is part of a so-called “Innovation Wyrkshop” network across Wyoming. The renovations and expansion happened through a partnership with the University of Wyoming “Innovation Wyrkshop” initiative and received financial support from the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS).

“Casper’s inclusion in the Wyrkshop network also means exciting
and accessible new programming and workshops through our shared ‘Maker Access Pass’ training program,” Saldivar said.

Other maker spaces in the network are located in Cheyenne, Evanston, Laramie, Pinedale and Rock Springs. Workshops and programs at all locations across the state are free.

“The idea behind our network is that a maker can learn how to use equipment in one makerspace, and earn the certification necessary to operate that same equipment across the entire network,” Innovation Wyrkshop Makerspace Coordinator Tyler Kerr said.

The Workforce Services-funded renovations and new equipment will provide “young adults with disabilities access to best-in-class science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) tools and machinery, and to give those students opportunities to work alongside and network with their fellow makers.”

=Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Vocational Rehabilitation Administrator Nicky Harper said: “We know that unemployment and underemployment disproportionately affect individuals with disabilities, and we saw a real opportunity via the makerspace program to provide training and work experiences for youth with barriers in high-growth fields.”

The library will be offering classes starting in May to introduce people to the new technology and re-introduce people to previous technology available at the space.

Classes in the first two weeks of May include:

  • Glowforge Intro & Demo (5/1 @ 3 PM)
  • Prusa 3D Printer Intro & Demo (5/4 @ 3 PM)
  • Cricut Vinyl Cutter Workshop (5/8 @ 10 AM)
  • Singer Sewing Machine Introductory Workshop (5/11 @3 PM).

“Visit the Library’s website to learn more and sign up. Patrons are also invited to stop by any time the Library is open to explore the new equipment and learn more about the project,” the library said. “To learn more about the Creation Station, visit www.natronacountylibrary.org/creationstation.”

“To read more about Wyoming’s Wyrkshop makerspace network, visit www.wyrkshop.org. PreETS students between the ages of 14-21 who are interested in makerspace employment or volunteer opportunities can reach out to Conrrado Saldivar at csaldivar@natronacountylibrary.org.”