Imagine Lab FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions


What do I need to do to use the makerspace?

  • A valid Champaign County Library card is required by anyone that uses the Imagine Lab. 
  • A signed release form must be on file for each user.
  • Some equipment requires specific supplies, see the details for the piece of equipment you are interested in using.   
  • Anyone under 13 must have a parent with them while in the Lab. 


General Questions

What if I don't have time to finish my project in the Lab?
Since we have limited hours, you may not be able to finish your project in one visit.  You may need to schedule a time to return to finish your project.  Some equipment is available to check out, please ask a staff person about availability.  

What if I need help designing my project?
Staff are not able to assist you in your design.  Patrons are responsible for their design.  Staff will provide basic information on design software and links to helpful videos. 

Are we able to make large quantity of items?
You are able to make as many items as you are able in the time alotted.  If you are using supplies available from the library (sublimation items, banner material, etc) please call ahead to make sure we have what you need in stock.  

Can we bring in our own supplies to use with the equipment?
You must use the supplies we have available for the large format printer and the 3D printers.  If you do bring in your own supplies, you are responsible for making sure they will work with our equipment. 

Can I send you my file and have you print it?
Sorry, you must be present while your project is being printed, converted, etc.  The only exception is the 3D printer.  Since many print jobs take an hour or more, you may start your print and then come back to pick up your finished project.


3D Printers

Is filament available?
You must use the filament we have available in the Lab.  The filament used is MakerBot PLA filament and is available in a few different colors. 

Where can I get files to print?
You can create your own designs with free websites like or  If you want a file that is ready to print, you can visit sites like  

Can I scan an exisiting item to 3D print?
We do have a 3D scanner that can scan smaller items.  Items that do not scan well are:  

  • Black or very dark items 

  • Flat items 

  • Items that have hidden or hard to see spaces – these will be shadowed and may not scan well 

  • Textured items 

  • Clear/Transparent items

  • You may need to export the scanned file into a program like TinkerCad to clean up the model prior to printing.


Embroidery Machine

Is embroidery software available?
The embroidery machine includes 7 different fonts and 138 designs.  We do not have software to convert images to the required file format; however, you are able to bring in your own designs on a flash drive.  Files must be one of the following formats: .dst / .pes / .phc  / .pen 

Do you have embroidery thread available to use?
We do offer a variety of colors; however, if you require a specfic color of thread for your project, please bring your own embroidery thread. 


Sewing Machines

Do I need to bring my own needles or thread?
Patrons will need to bring their own thread and fabric. We have basic needles available for use.

What sewing tools do you have available?
Pins, rotary cutter, cutting mat, fabric scissors, and other basic tools are available for use.