Creative Resources

Creative Resources

Where everyone can learn, make and design. We’re not experts in everything, but we’re here to help.

Design or learn with our creative software any time the computers are available, or come to one of our Open Creative sessions to use the other resources.


We love helping you learn and create! Most of what we provide is free of charge, your donation helps us to provide materials to support this service, and enables us to give open access to our creative resources for everyone in our community.

Chat with a staff member about donations and how they work.

Laser Cutting

A laser cutter provides a fast and accurate way of cutting a variety of materials, such as paper, card, acrylic, wood, laminate and fabric. It works by firing a high-powered carbon dioxide laser through a series of mirrors and a focusing lens to produce a beam that burns very precisely through the media. The laser is controlled by computer numerical control (CNC) which moves the laser head by following a vector design. Create designs using Inkscape, Adobe Illustrator or Affinity Designer.

Vinyl Cutting

A vinyl cutter contains a very sharp blade that is controlled by a computer. The blade can move precisely to cut shapes out of materials such as paper, card, adhesive vinyl and heat transfer vinyl. Some cutters are integrated into inkjet printers, allowing many more options for printing and cutting designs.

Create designs using Inkscape, Adobe Illustrator, Affinity Designer or Silhouette Studio software.

3D printing

You can design and print 3D designs at Christchurch City Libraries. We have several 3D printers that can be used to make small objects out of plastic.

Sewing, Overlocker and Embroidery Machines

When you can use the machines:

Sewing and overlocker machines: talk to a staff member about swapping your library card/ID to use the machines any time they’re free.

Embroidery machine: only available to use under staff guidance, during Open Creative times and Book a Librarian sessions.

Vacuum former

A vacuum former is a machine for creating simple moulds. It uses heat to stretch a sheet of plastic over an object, then uses a vacuum to suck the sheet closely to the object’s surface.

What have you made at Tūranga?

We'd love to hear your stories about making stuff at Tūranga, and see your photos - so we can share with the wider community.


  • Software available in Computer Lab 1, 4.22 Auahatanga | Creativity, Level 4, Tūranga. Your library membership gives you access to which has tutorials on some of the following software. In addition to the software available on all public computers the following software is installed on PCs in Computer Lab 1:


    • Adobe Character Animator - 2D Animation
    • Blender - 3D animation
    • Adobe After Effects (including Cinema 4D Lite) - Digital effects and motion graphics, 3D modelling, animation and compositing
    • iKitMovie4

    Audio Recording and Editing

    • Adobe Audition - Digital audio workstation
    • Reaper – Digital audio workstation for recording and mixing

    Desktop Publishing and Graphic Design

    • Adobe InDesign - Desktop publishing
    • Adobe Photoshop – Image composition and editing
    • Adobe Illustrator - Illustration and vector graphics
    • Adobe Lightroom Classic - Photo organizer and editor 
    • Affinity Designer – Illustrator alterinative

    Video Editing


    • Twine - Interactive book creator 
    • Sigil - eBook publishing
    • OBS Studio - Screen capture software
    • Sibelius 8 - Music Notation
    • Adobe Bridge - Adobe cross-platform media
    • Seamly2D – sewing/pattern design
    • Unity3D – 3D computer graphics
    • Lego Digital Designer
    • Lego Mindstorms edution ev3
    • Logitech Webcam software
    • KerbalEDU: education version of Kerbal Space Program
  • Software available on the computers (iMacs) in the Audio/Video Studio at Tūranga:

    Your library membership gives you access to which has tutorials on some of the following software.


    Audio Recording and Editing

    Desktop Publishing and Graphic Design

    Video Editing


  • Public use library computers have the following software installed:

    • Windows 10
    • Pharos Account Balance: View the balance on your Pharos account.
    • Microsoft Edge: Web browser
    • Internet Explorer: Web browser
    • Firefox: Web browser
    • Google Chrome: Web browser
    • PDF-Xchange: Open, read, create & edit PDF files
    • Adobe Digital Editions: eBook management software
    • OverDrive: eBook and eAudiobook reader
    • Microsoft Office: Suite of programs including word processor, slide-show, spreadsheet and more.
    • Libre Office: Suite of programs including word processor, slide-show, spreadsheet and more.
    • Māori keyboard and dictionary
    • Multiple keyboard languages supported
    • 123D Design*: 3D modelling 
    • Minecraft: You’ll need your own Minecraft subscription to log in
    • SketchUp Make: 3D modelling
    • Gimp: Drawing programme
    • Inkscape: Drawing programme
    • Drawing programme
    • Skype: Internet based phone and video calling
    • iTunes: Music library software.
    • Audacity: Audio editing software.
    • VLC: Multi-format video player.
    • Windows Media Player: Media player for video, audio and images.
    • Notepad++: Text tool for programmes
    • Magnifier: Microsoft screen magnifying software.
    • Narrator: Microsoft light-duty screen reader utility.
    • NVDA: Non Visual Desktop Access: Free, open-source screen reader software
    • Gale Anatomy, Chemistry and Science Viewer: science tutorial software
    • Google Earth: a 3D representation of Earth based on satellite imagery

    *Autodesk stopped supporting 123D in 2016. Because it is no longer developed and supported at some point it will no longer run on newer versions of Windows 10. Therefore we recommend you check out free or trial alternatives to 123D, such as:

    • Onshape Design online, register for a free account, designs are public
    • Tinkercad Free online modelling
    • Fusion 360 Download a trial version on your own computer.

    Learning Centre computers

    The following programmes are used during Learning Centre programmes (i.e. not accessible to the public except during organised classes)

    • Algodoo: physic based 2d sandbox
    • Arduino IDE: coding for Arduino boards
    • Blender: 3D computer graphics
    • Discord – VoIP & chat alternative to Skype
    • Kodu: Games lab
    • Krita – digital painting
    • League of Legends – eSports  
    • MakerbotPrint: 3D printing design
    • mBlock: block-based programming
    • Minecraft Education Edition
    • OBS Studio: screen capture software
    • Pivot Animator: stick figure animator
    • Processing: programming language
    • Ren’Py: visual novel creation
    • Scratch desktop editor: programming
    • Sculptris: 3D digital sculpting
    • Shotcut: video editing
    • Silhouette: crafting tool
    • Sigil: eBook publishing
    • SimplePlanes: 3D sim – build airplanes by snapping parts together
    • SimpleRockets: 3D space sim - build rockets, airplanes, rovers and explore
    • Sonic Pi – code based music creation
    • Twine: interactive book creator
    • Ultimake Cura: 3D printing design

    See also:

Taupuni Oro/Ataata – Audio/Video Studio: Tūranga

The Audio/Video Studio is a place to shoot and edit video, record and edit sound, and to compose, record, and mix sound recordings.


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