Ela Library, Harper team to create, donate 3D toys for area kids

  • Ela Library staff tracks the number of toys printed for the fourth annual 3D Printed Toys for Tots Campaign.

    Ela Library staff tracks the number of toys printed for the fourth annual 3D Printed Toys for Tots Campaign. Courtesy of Valerie Stern

 
 
Updated 12/22/2021 2:23 PM

Thanks to a partnership with Harper College, Ela Area Public Library's makerspace, Forge, is helping to bring smiles to thousands of kids this holiday season as a participant in the fourth annual 3D Printed Toys for Tots Campaign.

Since late November, the library's 3D printer "Righty" has served as a high-tech Santa's elf for this project, which makes toys for kids who might not otherwise receive them this holiday season.

 

The Harper College Business and Entrepreneurship Club hopes to make at least 5,000 toys by Christmas with the help of local volunteers and organizations such as the library. So far, Ela Library has printed more than 250 toys, exceeding their initial goal of 200.

"It has been a blast watching patrons of all ages inquire and watch as our 3D printer, 'Righty,' quickly prints out toys," said Yolanda Prado, Ela Area Public Library's makerspace and tech specialist.

"None of this would be possible without the help from library staff who kept our 3D printer running daily. We are excited to have partnered with Harper College to spread cheer this holiday season."

The project is the brainchild of IC3D Industries in Columbus, Ohio. Harper is a hub for IC3D's program. The college raised money and recruited volunteers with plans to donate the finished toys to the area U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots chapter and other local community organizations.

For information about Ela Area Public Library's makerspace, Forge, visit www.eapl.org/forge.

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