Creation Labs inside the Galleria du Mont Liban brings ideas to life

David Watt had an idea.

Aaron Hartman helped bring it to life.

Watt of North Huntingdon collaborated with Hartman of Peters to design the CigarBand for fishermen. Watt wanted to be able to smoke a cigar while having both hands available to cast a net.

He drew an image of an armband that has a clip for a cigar so the user can take a puff, push it to the side, and roll up a fish.

“I got a ton of help from Aaron,” Watt said. “I had thought about this idea for a while because I think fly fishing and cigars are nostalgic. I decided to go after a friend suggested I contact Aaron.

Hartman owns Creation Laboratories, a creative space in the Galleria du Mont Liban. The location is equipped with 3D printers, laser cutters, 3D scanners, design software, coding programs and more.

Pretty much anything anyone can think of, Hartman can do, he said.

“The capabilities of 3D printing are truly endless,” Hartman said. “The only question we have to answer is what do you want to do? Choose from a huge range of files available on the internet, have a file designed by our team or we can teach you how to create your own.

Courtesy of Tracy Watt

A fisherman uses the CigarmBand, an arm-mounted device that holds a cigar away from your body so you can use both hands for other tasks and not get cigar smoke in your eyes.

Watt described his vision to Hartman and said that when he saw what Hartman had done, it was better than he imagined.

“Aaron is a problem solver,” Watt said.

Hartman is happy to be a problem solver, as well as helping people design and build their own.

Creation Labs offers subscriptions starting at $49.95 per month. Members have unlimited access to the maker space and receive a 50% discount on courses as well as 20% on retail merchandise.

Courses include 3D printing and fabrication and 3D modeling and design. One hour costs $39.95 and $19.95 for members.

Other prototypes Hartman made include The Whistle Shield, a whistle that, when blown by a professional basketball referee, directs all particles from a person’s mouth downward. He has also created flowers with layers of color and can create the likeness of a person by scanning them and 3D printing a miniature figure. The objects come from a digital file. Physical objects are made by extruding molten plastic, called filament, in thin layers, on top of each other, until the desired shape is formed. Creation Labs sells filament in several colors.

The first step is to find a file on sites such as, Where If you can’t find the file you want, Creation Labs can help you design what you want or you can create a design yourself.


Courtesy of Harvey “Frzy” Daniels

Part of a “Black Panther” costume designed and created at Creation Labs inside the Galleria du Mont Liban

Hartman helps Pittsburgh rap artist Harvey “Frzy” Daniels create a “Black Panther” costume. Daniels asked friends and family to donate money to help print the outfit. Daniels has said the “Black Panther” has been an idol since Daniels was young.

“Seeing Africa have such a powerful superhero and king resonated with me,” said East Liberty native Daniels. “In my everyday life, I see myself as a king and thanks to Aaron, I also have the chance to become the Black Panther. I can’t wait to show that. Aaron is a good guy. He’s amazing what he can do.

Glenn Johnson, a former IBM researcher and programmer who lives on Mount Washington, created objects in maker space.

“This space is appealing to me,” Johnson said. “I like the concept. It is excellent technology and the quality is excellent. This is the first store like this that I know. »

Once the design is created, Creation Labs can manufacture as many as a customer wants and provide engineering drawings for injection molding, a manufacturing process for producing parts in high volume.

Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review

Creation Labs owner Aaron Hartman (right) and his son Ty Hartman at the shop inside the Galleria du Mont Liban.

Hartman started doing 3D printing services from his living room. In 2016, he left a job as a mechanical engineer to open a maker space in South Hills Village. He moved the business to a larger space in the Galleria in June 2020.

“I’ve done things all my life,” Hartman said. “I used to design machines in steel and concrete and now in plastic.

Her son, Ty, helps in the store. He said he likes working there because it develops his creativity. He helped with the website as well as the displays in the store and also helps customers with their ideas. Ty Hartman will print a test product and help refine the final piece.

“We’ll take your project from a napkin sketch,” said Hartman, who calls himself chief executive. “And make it a real product that you can hold in your hand.”

Or in Watt’s case, on your arm.

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is editor of Tribune-Review. You can contact JoAnne at 724-853-5062, [email protected] or via Twitter .