She and Zona teach additional three-hour sessions of instruction on each piece of equipment.

A National Science Foundation grant enabled the creation of the lab for students, inventors and entrepreneurs, according to Burch, the former principal at the Western School of Technology and Environmental Science.

It is one of more than 100 Fab Labs worldwide collaborating with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which provides advice and resources.

That network of Fab Lab participants connect regularly through an online teleconferencing system to collaborate to solve problems and share ideas, he said.

"There's so much interest and attention on 3D now," said Michael Raphael, CEO of a high-tech 3D scanning company, Direct Dimension,  located in Owings Mills.

Raphael served on an advisory board to establish the lab.

"These Fab Labs are all over the world. They can have different flavors," he said, explaining that other labs focus on electronic design, photography or woodworking. "We talked about what the local Baltimore area was missing."

Four years later, the lab has become an integral part of CCBC programs, including engineering and manufacturing technician training, interior design and art, Burch said.

It has attracted graduate students from UMBC as well as about 20  Baltimore County Public School teachers and faculty from Stevenson University and UMBC.

There are new endeavors in the works as well.

CCBC will host a conference for the United States Fab Lab Network in April.

The lab will be the centerpiece for new classes and ultimately a degree program, as well, according to Bendell, who said she and Zona are working on the curriculum now.

Zona said there's always a demand for workshops as soon as they are announced. "We can't keep up with demand," she said. "People want to learn."

She has been also been in talks with area galleries about a possible exhibit of items produced in the lab. "It's one of our goals to have a Fab Lab show," she said.

"Having the Fab Lab gives people the tools and resources to create the prototypes to show investors and businesses or start and grow a business," Raphael said.

The lab is open to the public several days during the week.

Just as there are fees for using a public photocopier, these have fees, too. Printing on a 3D printer costs $7 to $10 a cubic inch, for example.

Hours, lab fees which run about $5 a visit, and the reservation forms necessary for some tools are posted on the website,

This story has been updated.