Maker Lab

The Maker Lab at Harold Washington Library Center is available by reservation only.

Contact us at Ask a Maker to set up an equipment reservation, request fabrication or get help in a one-on-one virtual appointment.

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


  • Digital design software
  • 3D printers with build areas of 11"x6"x6" and 4.7"x4.7"x4.7"
  • Laser cutters with a 20"x12" bed
  • Electronic cutters
  • Button maker
  • Sewing 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.

Open Shop

No registration is required for open shop.


Workshops are free; supplies are provided unless otherwise stated.

  • There's no registration for Maker Lab classes and workshops.
  • Enrollment begins in the Maker Lab 15 minutes before the event starts.
  • 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.
  • Vinyl-cutting classes, laser-cutting classes and 3D printing classes accommodate eight participants.
  • Other workshops accommodate up to 12 participants unless otherwise noted.


If you have a group of five or more and wish to attend a workshop, email

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.