Wednesday, February 3, 2016

For Makers on a Budget, Turn to your Local Library!

Two years ago, I opted to hire someone through ETSY to create cookie cutters from two illustrations of mine. The seller I commissioned did a terrific job, but I didn't. You see, the cookie cutters had design flaws and really didn't work out, especially when dough got stuck in tiny nooks and crannies of the design. My designs were also too big.

I shelved the cookie cutters-somewhere in my studio–can't find them despite my re-organization of the space until I had more time to mull over a better design solution. Also, I'm on a limited budget for product development, so I can't afford to order too many prototypes.

When I had time to revisit my cookie cutter project, our local library, in a small Connecticut town mind you, acquired a 3Dprinter, AND! I could have two of my designs printed for free! It took awhile for me to schedule a chance to take my designs over, at first it was on a volunteer basis, so help was hit or miss. But this December, the library had a staff member who had scheduled days to work with designers like me. My husband went with me to view the procedure, as he would like to have some products printed up for his museum (www.vintagehifi.org).

My two illustrations were handed over to Andrea, the staffer who scanned in designs and printed out the products for patrons. She did have a backlog of items to be printed, but this wait comes with something that is FREE.

My first cookie cutter design that I received from Andrea, still had some design flaws, and Andrea graciously waited for me to email her a re-worked illustration. Yesterday I picked up both designs and I'm pretty excited at the outcome. They look and feel sturdy, and exactly like my two illustrations!

What I plan to make from these will be for a later post, and  I do have to put them to the test tomorrow. But if you're a maker, designer, artist, do know that your local library most likely holds a miraculous manufacturing machine ready for all creative folk to test at a very affordable price, $FREE!