Exploration Commons will be closed Tuesday, April 23, 2024 for a statewide training. We apologize for the inconvenience.

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The Makerspace

makerspace

A Makerspace is a community center where tools are provided to design, engineer, fabricate and learn. All skill levels are welcome and it offers a safe do it yourself environment where failure is just another step in the learning process. Learning may be self-directed or instructor led, and Exploration Commons will provide the staff and guest instructors to assist with all learning styles.

Who may use the Makerspace

The Makerspace is for ages 8 – Adult. Children ages 8 – 11 may work with an equipment certified adult in the use of some machines in the space, but may not operate themselves. Children ages 12 – 15 may operate machinery with the assistance of an equipment certified adult. Persons aged 16 and older may operate any of the available equipment. An Exploration Commons/Library card is required to use makerspace equipment and all users must be certified to use select equipment.

Programs held in the Makerspace will be led by an instructor and may also have age restrictions depending on the equipment used or content of the program. An Exploration Commons/Library card is not required to attend programs.

Will there be a cost to use the Makerspace?

The use of the space is free. However, there will be a cost for some materials if required (filament, wood, acrylic, etc). There will also be programs where we need to charge to recoup expenses.

Hours and Staffing

The entire space will be open and staffed Monday - Thursday, 9 AM - 8 PM, Friday - Saturday, 9 AM - 5 PM. In addition to CCPL staff, we will be working with outside presenters from various industries, professors from Carroll Community College and McDaniel College, Carroll County Public Schools faculty, and local interns and volunteers. Our community has much to offer and we will require their expertise and support to make Exploration Commons a success.

Upcoming Classes and Programs

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Intro to Adobe Illustrator
Exploration Commons
Thursday, April 25, 2024 - 5:30pm - 7:30pm
Ages: 12 - Adults, Adults
Registration and more information
Learn the basic features of Adobe Illustrator. Participants will have the opportunity to learn and explore the program through hands-on instruction. No experience is required!

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CNC and Fusion 360 Demo
Exploration Commons
Friday, April 26, 2024 - 3:00pm - 4:30pm
Ages: 14 - Adults, Adults
Registration and more information
Fusion 360 can generate toolpaths for subtractive manufacturing using CNC machines like our CNC router. We'll examine the design and manufacturing process of a simple 3D milling project and the learning pathways to becoming proficient in using Fusion 360. This demonstration assumes no prior CAD or CAM knowledge, but having previous experience with Fusion is extremely helpful; manufacturing with Fusion is an intermediate skill.

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Laser Engraved Personal Recipe Card and Box
Exploration Commons
Monday, April 29, 2024 - 1:00pm - 3:30pm
Ages: 16 - Adults, Adults
Registration and more information
Create a kitchen keepsake by turning a handwritten recipe into an engraved wooden recipe card! We'll learn some of the basics of Adobe Illustrator as we create a custom recipe box label and utilize scanning to bring our handwritten recipes into a digital, engravable format. Previous laser design experience is helpful but not required. This class does not result in independent laser cutter use certification.

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Sewing: Serger Basics
Exploration Commons
Tuesday, April 30, 2024 - 10:00am - 12:30pm
Ages: 14 - Adults, Adults
Registration and more information
In this class, you will learn about the sewing, cutting, proper threading, and operating basics of the versatile serger/overlock sewing machine. You will be inspired to incorporate serger/overlock techniques into your sewing projects to achieve better results. This is a beginner-level class, and no sewing experience is required. This program includes Exploration Commons Serger Certification for independent use.

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Intro to Laser Cutting
Exploration Commons
Wednesday, May 1, 2024 - 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Ages: 12 - Adults, Adults
Registration and more information
This beginner-level laser cutter class will walk you through design basics, machine use, and safety procedures. At the instructor's discretion, customers who successfully complete this program will be certified to use Exploration Commons' Fusion Pro and Fusion Edge laser cutters.

Customers aged 12 to 15 who complete their certification are required to have a certified adult with them to use the laser independently.

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Intro to CNC Routing
Exploration Commons
Thursday, May 2, 2024 - 10:00am - 4:00pm
Ages: 12 - Adults, Adults
Registration and more information
This one-day CNC certification class will introduce you to the design basics, machine use, and safety procedures for our Iconic i2015 CNC router. We will focus on project design and the VCarve software in the morning session. We will cover machine use in the afternoon, including hands-on time with the CNC machine. There will be a break from 12 - 1 PM between the morning and afternoon sessions.

All program registrants must complete the prerequisite online Iconic CNC Machine Use and Safety Training before attending the first session of this program.

At the instructor's discretion, customers who successfully complete both sessions of this program will be certified to use Exploration Commons' CNC machine. Customers aged 12 to 15 who complete their certification are required to have a certified adult with them to use the CNC router independently.

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Getting Started with CLO 3D Fashion Design Software
Exploration Commons
Thursday, May 2, 2024 - 5:00pm - 7:30pm
Ages: 16 - Adults, Adults
Registration and more information
Learn the basics of creating a 3D avatar and accessing the 2D T-shirt block in CLO 3D. We will learn how to create a virtual dress for your avatar and show how to send the pattern to the printer to create a real-world sewing pattern. This is a beginner-level class.

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Intro to 3D Printing and Design with Tinkercad
Exploration Commons
Friday, May 3, 2024 - 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Ages: 12 - Adults, Adults
Registration and more information
Learn the basics of using Tinkercad to design for 3D printing! We'll walk through basic 3D design using Tinkercad software and create a simple project to be 3D printed. No previous design experience is necessary!

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Intermediate Laser Cutting: Designing for Different Materials
Exploration Commons
Tuesday, May 7, 2024 - 1:00pm - 3:30pm
Ages: 16 - Adults, Adults
Registration and more information
This intermediate-level laser design class focuses on the differences between creating designs and navigating unique settings on various materials. Attendees will learn how to optimize their workflow with several different material options.

Fusion Pro Laser Cutter Certification is required prior to attending this program.

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Intro to Adobe Illustrator
Exploration Commons
Thursday, May 9, 2024 - 10:00am - 12:00pm
Ages: 12 - Adults, Adults
Registration and more information
Learn the basic features of Adobe Illustrator. Participants will have the opportunity to learn and explore the program through hands-on instruction. No experience is required!

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Laser Engraved Livestock Brushes
Exploration Commons
Thursday, May 9, 2024 - 5:30pm - 7:30pm
Ages: 12 - Adults, Adults
Registration and more information
Getting ready for the summer livestock or horse show season? Join us to customize a wood-handled grooming brush to express your own personality! We'll learn the basics of Adobe Illustrator and designing for laser engraving, then watch as your design is engraved onto a brush to take home.

This class does not result in independent laser use certification. 

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Adobe Illustrator: Beyond the Basics
Exploration Commons
Saturday, May 11, 2024 - 10:00am - 12:00pm
Ages: 12 - Adults, Adults
Registration and more information
Join us for a comprehensive two-session Adobe Illustrator program where we further explore the software's capabilities and build on our existing knowledge. Because this class explores more advanced functionality, it is strongly recommended that participants take our Intro to Adobe Illustrator class or complete the following prerequisite videos before the class.

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Tinkercad: Beyond the Basics
Exploration Commons
Saturday, May 11, 2024 - 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Ages: 12 - Adults, Adults
Registration and more information
Join us to explore Tinkercad's 3D design capabilities further. Utilizing both basic and intermediate design tools and methods, we'll make 3D-printed dice. Previous Tinkercad experience is strongly recommended.

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Making for Seniors: Create a Simple Cork Laser Engraving Project
Exploration Commons
Tuesday, May 14, 2024 - 10:00am - 12:00pm
Ages: Adults
Registration and more information
Learning new technology should be fun, not intimidating! Join us for a basic hands-on session where we'll create a laser engraved cork project and watch your project being made on our Fusion Pro laser cutter. Previous basic computer experience is required. No previous experience with laser cutting or design software is needed. This class does not result in independent laser use certification.

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3D Design Skills: Sketching
Exploration Commons
Wednesday, May 15, 2024 - 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Ages: Adults
Registration and more information
Welcome to the exciting world of 3D design and modeling! In this comprehensive, hands-on session in Onshape, a powerful cloud-based computer-aided design (CAD) platform, we will dive further into the sketch tools and their functions.

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3D Printed Calendars
Exploration Commons
Thursday, May 16, 2024 - 10:00am - 12:00pm
Ages: 12 - Adults, Adults
Registration and more information
Welcome to the exciting world of 3D design! Explore some fundamental 3D modeling techniques while designing a desktop calendar to be 3D printed!

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Kids Intro to Basic Sewing Skills
Exploration Commons
Thursday, May 16, 2024 - 5:00pm - 7:30pm
Ages: 10 - 16
Registration and more information
Learn the necessary basics to feel comfortable using a sewing machine. This is a beginner-level class; you will leave feeling confident about the next steps to take toward sewing your projects.