Collaboratory: An Experimentation Station

The Downtown Branch has a new experimentation station for adults and teens! Experimenters, makers, innovators and DIY-ers can collaborate in a hands-on environment to learn together, create and try something new.

The space is flexible and features different equipment and tools that change periodically. Interactive programs teach 'making' skills, including art, design and technology.  Staff are available for limited assistance but are not experts, and will learn with you within their abilities.

During drop-in hours, there is a small fee for using the vinyl printer and 3D Printer. Visit our Print Centre to see the fees and what the cost for your project will be.  

View our Collaboratory Guidelines & Safety Information

DIY Open Hours

Drop in during our DIY Open Hours to try out the Collaboratory tools and get creative with some hands-on fun. Visit our online calendar for any exceptions to these scheduled hours.

Monday: 1-8pm
Tuesday: 1-8pm
Thursday: 1-8pm
Saturday: 12-4pm

Weekly Drop-in Programs

We offer weekly drop-in programs with a different theme every 3 months. Visit our online calendar to see what the current theme is, or stop by the Collaboratory. The room capacity is 8-10 people so get here early!

Make & Take
1st and 3rd Fridays of the month
Kick off your weekend by sparking your imagination, have fun messing around, and take your creation home. 

Most Wednesdays and some Saturdays
We provide a specialized project and you learn the skill! Build your confidence in using new technologies and ‘making.’ Max 8 people. 

Tools in the Collaboratory

3D Printer (Ultimaker 3)

Our Ultimaker-3 3D Printer prints 3D objects using plastic filament. Get creative and print anything from figures, phone holders, and jewelry to pencil holders or key chains. 
Ultimaker-3 Fact Sheet

Ultimaker-3 Instruction Sheet

TinkerCad Instruction Sheet

Cricut Maker

The Cricut Maker is a fun cutting machine that is great for scrapbooking, crafting, hobbyists, sewing and quilting projects. Come try it out and make some fancy greeting cards. 
Cricut Fact Sheet 

Cricut Instruction Sheet

Sewing Machines

Our computerized sewing machine is ideal for beginners, with a bright LCD display with easy navigation. Come learn how to sew or try basic mending and sewing projects. Some supplies like basic thread colours will be available, but we encourage you to bring your own fabrics. 
Sewing Machine Fact Sheet 

Sewing Machine Instruction Sheet

Vinyl Printer

The Vinyl Printer can be used to print removeable wall decals, stickers, window clings, labels, posters, signs and more. There is a material cost recovery fee for the vinyl printer. Costs are charged based on linear foot of printed vinyl or paper. 
Vinyl Printer Fact Sheet

Vinyl Printer Instruction Sheet Step 1 - Find/import an image

Vinyl Printer Instruction Sheet Step 2 - Prepare an image for printing in Adobe Illustrator (AI) by applying 'cut lines'. There are two computers in the CoLAB with AI.

Step 3 - Ask staff to print

Button Maker

Use our button maker to make 1.75" or 3" buttons or magnets with a few quick presses of a lever. 
Button Maker Fact Sheet 

Button Maker Instruction Sheet

Computers and Software 

Our Collaboratory has two computers available for use with specialized software, including Adobe Creative Suite, CorelDRAW Suite 2017, and LEGO Mindstorms EV3.  
Software & Hardware Fact Sheet