User Alerts

idea lab FAQs


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What is an idea lab?

The MCLS idea lab program connects people with learning opportunities, using technology. Want to learn how to edit your photos? Make robots? Practice using a sewing machine? Sell something online? Take a selfie … on purpose! Record a hologram? The idea lab gives our community the chance to do any of these things – and more! – simply by having a library card.


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    How do I access the idea lab equipment?

    Most idea lab equipment is available on a first come, first served basis. Some equipment requires an idea lab card. 

    Will someone show me how to do all this?

    We'll help get you started! Because the idea labs give our local community access to explore and discover technology, most of the equipment is self-service. But if you're not sure where to begin, just ask! If you're interested in taking a formal class, check out our idea lab Class Calendar. Also, don't forget to check out for more advanced and specialized on-demand learning opportunities.


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      How do I get an idea lab card?

      To upgrade to an idea lab card, you must sign an equipment agreement form and have a Martin County library card in good standing. The use of some equipment (eg, a sewing machine) also requires signing a liability waiver. See your local Library staff to upgrade your card today!


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      Do I need to bring my own materials?

      We have a limited quantity of materials, such as thread, fabric, vinyl, and cardstock. This material is designed for learning and/or practicing. If you’re working on a project that requires specific materials, you will want to bring your own. If you're not sure what to bring, just ask!

      I can really check out cameras and laptops?

      Yes! See a list of available equipment through our “take home tech” program. Equipment is available for 7-day checkout and requires an idea lab card. You can also place holds on equipment and pick up at your local branch through our online catalog, just like you would for a library book.


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      The Library has a 3D printer? Can I use it?

      Yes, we do! We currently accept print jobs via USB at all Martin County library branch locations. 3D print files should be in .STL file format and the cost is $0.10/gram. After submitting your 3D print request, you'll hear from our Electronic Resources Coordinator to confirm print and estimate cost.  Want to watch your 3D file print? Just let us know!

      If you're not sure where to start, but want to see what other's have designed, popular websites to browse are: 

      • Thingiverse
      • Instructables
      • Cults 3D

      If you'd like to create your own 3D design, entry-level programs include: 

      • Tinkercad
      • Blender
      • SketchUp

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        Martin County is committed to ensuring website accessibility for people with disabilities. To report an ADA accessibility issue, request accessibility assistance regarding our website content, or to request a specific electronic format, please contact the County ADA Coordinator (772) 320-3131, Florida Relay 711, or complete our Accessibility Feedback Form. We will make reasonable efforts to accommodate all needs.

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