Imagine taking an idea and turning it into a physical object.

Attend some of the library's upcoming workshops and you can do just that.

The 3D printing process has rapidly gained popularity after years of use in the medical, design and engineering fields. Using specialized computer-aided design software, it is possible to design and print out a three-dimensional solid object by laying down successive layers of material – plastic, for example – until the object is created.

The concept of 3D printing has been at the forefront of a larger trend often referred to as the "maker movement" – an umbrella term for independent inventors, designers and tinkerers – which promotes learning new skills in a collaborative environment. The movement includes any program or technology used to encourage creativity, problem-solving and discovery for all ages.

This winter, three programs that make use of the library's 3D printers are planned. Two invite participants to design cookie cutters, and the third encourages attendees to design whatever they wish.

The cookie cutter workshops will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at Old Worthington Library, 820 High St., and at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 2 at Worthington Park Library, 1389 Worthington Centre Drive. Registration is required for the latter program – go to worthingtonlibraries.org/calendar/register – and for Old Worthington Library's 3D Anything session, which starts at 2 p.m. Feb. 18.

The maker movement is not about creating a perfect end product, but rather about learning, trying, failing, fixing and trying again. "Doing" is a powerful way to learn. Many educators have established makerspaces in their classrooms or incorporate maker elements into lessons.

For several years, Worthington Libraries' "Make It" program series has brought children, teens and adults together to create everything from holiday ornaments and ecobags to Bristlebots – small robots made from toothbrushes – and catapults.

Other upcoming "Make It" sessions include "Crochet Mug Cozy" on Dec. 1, "Paint a Mug" on Dec. 6, "Worthington Art-In" on Dec. 15 and "Book Page Wreath" on Jan. 26. For program specifics, go to worthingtonlibraries.org/calendar/diy-and-crafts.

Hillary Kline is a communications specialist for Worthington Libraries.