Maker Lab

The Maker Lab, Chicago’s first free and publicly accessible maker space, is on the 3rd floor of Harold Washington Library Center. The Maker Lab features introductory workshops and open shop for personal projects and collaboration. We encourage you to explore the full range of making, both high-tech and hands-on.

Contact Us

  • makerspace@chipublib.org
  • Ask a Maker to set up an equipment reservation, request fabrication or get help in a one-on-one virtual appointment
  • 312-747-4042

Equipment

    • Digital design software Inkscape and GIMP
    • Ultimaker S3 3D printers with build areas of 9” x 7.4” x 7.9”
    • Full Spectrum laser cutters with a 20"x12" bed
    • Cricut Maker and Silhouette Cameo 4 electronic cutters
    • Button maker
    • Brother XR9500PRW sewing machines
    • Brother Electroknit KH-930 knitting machines

Using the Maker Lab

Workshops at the Maker Lab are for ages 14 and up. Up to two children 10-13 may attend with an adult; the adult must take responsibility for the children at all times.

Resouces

Check out slides from select classes, how-to videos, or LinkedIn Learning for in-depth design tutorials.

Open Shop

No registration is required for open shop.

Workshops

Workshops are free; supplies are provided unless otherwise stated.

  • Participants must be present within five minutes of the event's start time or forfeit their seat.
  • Participants in computer classes need basic computer and mouse skills.

Groups

If you have a group of five or more and wish to attend a workshop, email makerspace@chipublib.org.

About the Maker Lab

The Maker Lab launched in July 2013 as a six-month experiment to explore the role of the library in makerspaces, community-operated workspaces where people come together to learn, create and collaborate. Due to the overwhelmingly positive community response, we chose to keep the Maker Lab open and continue to offer exciting new workshops.

In 2013, CPL received the Social Innovator Award from Chicago Innovation Awards, which recognizes the most innovative new products or services brought to market or to public service each year, for the Maker Lab’s accomplishments in enabling new forms of personal manufacturing and business opportunities.

Our report Making to Learn chronicles the creation of the Maker Lab, our first six months of operation and our initial findings about the space and the people who visit us.

The Maker Lab is generously supported by Comcast and donors to the Chicago Public Library Foundation.