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The Exploratory Digital Media Makerspace

Information about our makerspace, including digital media and 3D printer options


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Please email questions to library@niagaracollege.ca.


Due to the evolving COVID-19 situation, ALL EXPLORATORY ROOM BOOKINGS HAVE BEEN CANCELLED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. Additionally, 3D print requests will not be fulfilled until the College resumes normal operations. We are sorry for the inconvenience.  Please visit the Niagara College Libraries + Learning Commons website for the latest details on our services.

About the Exploratory

What is the Exploratory?

The ncLibraries Exploratory is a digital media lab and makerspace for current Niagara College students, faculty, and staff to access various types of technology and software that you might not otherwise have the opportunity to explore; you don't need to have any idea how to use the software or equipment, this is your opportunity to play!


The Exploratory contains software and equipment for filming videos, recording audio, editing videos, designing graphics, virtual reality headsets, and equipment for creating marketing material and prototypes including a 3D printer, button maker, and Cricut machine. 


Who can use the Exploratory?

Current Niagara College students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to use the Exploratory for class-related projects or for independent supplementary experimentation and learning.


Why should I use the Exploratory?

Possible uses for the Exploratory include:

  • Filming and editing videos for class assignments or lectures
  • Recording and editing audio for class assignments
  • Experimenting with software to enhance your skills
  • Developing prototypes with a 3D printer
  • Preparing unique and professional materials for competition and events

Where is the Exploratory located?

The Exploratory is located in the former Library Training Room at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus Library and Learning Commons. A second location at the Welland Campus is planned for the near future. 

How can I access the Exploratory?

You can reserve a block of time in the Exploratory or drop in during designated open hours.  Please visit our calendar to see available times.  Staff members will be available during open hours or by request during reserved times.


Please contact library@niagaracollege.ca for further inquiries. 

See what students have created using the Exploratory:

3D Printer Projects

3D printed dragon egg lamp

Equipment in the Exploratory


OCULUS Go VR Headset

with and without green screen wall

Green Screen Wall

Canon XA30 camcorder

Canon XA30 Camcorder

Canon EOS 7D SLR camera

Canon EOS 7D SLR Camera

Cricut Maker

Cricut EasyPress 2

Lighting Kit

Lighting Kit





wireless microphone

Wireless Microphone

boom microphone

Boom Microphone

lightboard with try me written on it

Lightboard (courtesy of Business, Hospitality, & Environmental Division)

sound cancelling headphones

Sound Cancelling Headphones

headset microphones

Headset Microphone (2 pairs)

Snowball Microphone

Snowball Microphone

Dell XPS workstations

Dell XPS 27 Workstations (3)

iMac desktop computer


Various imagination building supplies

Various Imagination Building Supplies

Button Maker

Photo Light Box

Software + Help Guides

**Note: equipment is for use in the Exploratory ONLY.  Please provide your own USB stick or other device to save your files if you do not plan to upload them to the web.**

Licensed software on workstations include:

Help guides:

Recommended open source software alternatives:

3D Modelling:
Desktop publishing/graphic design:

Learn more about Creative Commons images, music, etc. to use with the green screen from our Copyright for Students guide. 

3D Printing and Scanning

Niagara College students, staff, and faculty have access to a 3D printer and scanner at the NOTL Campus Library’s Exploratory.

3D Printing Process:

  1. Choose or create a 3D model using free online software or the software available on the computers in The Exploratory. You may also use the 3D scanner to create a model you can manipulate (learn more about 3D scanning).  The final file must be in .stl format and the maximum building size is 150 X 150 X 150 mm.
  2. Read the guidelines listed below.
  3. Submit your job using the link at the bottom of this page.
  4. Wait for the magic to happen. 

The filament used to create objects is Polylactic Acid (PLA) which is a biodegradable polymer derived from renewable resources. The material has a smooth appearance but it actually porous. This means that it should never be used to make articles that come into contact with food, for example.

Most requests will be printed by ncLibraries but keep in mind because this is an academic setting some items will not be printed.

Learn more about the basics of 3D printing and scanning from the tutorials available on ALL3DP.com!

Problems with your print?  Check out these troubleshooting guides:

Please review the following guidelines:

  1. This service is for non-commercial, academic, or personal use only. For these reasons ncLibraries Exploratory will NOT print large quantities of the same item.
  2. Please keep in mind that printing 3D items involves many aspects of intellectual property such as copyright, industrial design, patent, and trademark law. It is up to you to determine if you are infringing copyright or violating another’s intellectual property rights. Please be aware of this before submitting print requests. Below is a list of sites that offer free and/or open source 3D models and modeling software:

Pre-designed 3D Models:

3D Modelling Software:

  1. ncLibraries Exploratory will not print anything that resembles a weapon, or parts of a weapon.
  2. ncLibraries will not print any material that violates Niagara College Conduct Practices.

ncLibraries Exploratory reserves the right to:

  1. Refuse any 3D print request.
  2. Use staff discretion to organize the print queue for overall efficient output.
  3. Photograph all 3D objects printed. Images may be used for monitoring, marketing, and/or reporting outcomes.
  4. Gather feedback from users.
  5. Implement additional requirements not listed here.

There is currently no fee for 3D printing services, however, this is subject to change in the future.

ncLibraries Exploratory does not have storage space to keep your item indefinitely. You will receive an email once your item is complete; this email will provide you with a deadline in which to pick-up your item (usually about 1 week). If your object has not been picked up by the deadline, it will be recycled.

Only authorized ncLibraries Exploratory staff will have hands-on access to the 3D printer, but you can watch items being printed!


3D print requests will not be fulfilled during the COVID 19 closure until the College resumes normal operations. We are sorry for the inconvenience.  Please visit the Niagara College Libraries + Learning Commons website for the latest details on our services.

Want to take your great idea further?  

ncTakeoff can help!  Working in partnership with ncResearch & Innovation, ncTakeoff is Niagara College's entrepreneurial hub, contact them today.



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