A young woman stands in front of an enormous TV screen, waving her hands over a small sensor in what looks like a fit of Saint Vitus' Dance. A closer look shows she's using Leap Motion to throw a virtual pot. She'll eventually draw her design on Google's SketchUp and program it into the 3D printer on the other side of the room, which is currently clacking out someone else's bright magenta plastic Statue of Liberty.
On a huge IMAC, an older woman rummages through Thingiverse, a software program that offers hundreds of objects already designed for 3D printing, while in yet another corner of the room a potential rock star strums an electric guitar hooked up to a computer recording his vibes and then overlays them via a keyboard attached to the same computer. A mother and her child are engrossed in Snap Circuits electronics, putting together a two-way radio, an easy way to learn about electricity. And should you wish to publish your own newsletter, the IMAC offers every conceivable kind of design software including Photoshop for image editing; Illustrator for graphics illustration; InDesign for page design, layout, and publishing, and Premiere for video production and editing.
All this inventive activity takes place at the Creation Station of the Broward Main Library, a "makerspace" and gadget lab that came to Fort Lauderdale with Skye Patrick, the new Broward Libraries director. She says it's no different than old-timey days when libraries used to teach people arts and crafts or how to put together a ham radio; it's just that today the Creation Station represents the Maker Movement, a technology-based extension of DIY culture. It's advanced technology for the inventive mind, but you needn't be an architect or engineer or scientist to participate.
The Creation Station is on the second floor of the Main Library (100 S. Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale) and is open limited hours during the Sneak Peek lead up to the grand opening. Hours are Monday, Thursday, and Friday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Tuesday and Wednesday 3 to 7 p.m. Technically trained librarians assist during these hours, and have as much fun as you will.
Mondays-Fridays, 11 a.m. Starts: June 6. Continues through Dec. 31, 2014