Makers Making Use of the I-Create Makerspace Lab

Posted: March 14, 2019 9:00:00 PM CDT

After opening the I-Create Makerspace Lab in mid-January, we never would have guessed the flurry of activity that would occur around Valentine’s Day. In the days leading up to this romantic holiday, we had a nice surge of activity as makers of all disciplines made pilgrimages and many gifts were created!  The 3D printers were busy printing red roses for loved ones. On the embroidery machine, there was a whole lotta monogramming going on, including one very cuddly looking fleece blanket. On the laser cutter/engraver, we had a line of people engraving a favorite photo onto wood.

As a special Valentine’s gift to us, our large format printer was finally installed! It can print up to 50 inches wide on 100-foot long rolls of paper or other varieties of materials like vinyl and window clings. We’ve already used the printer to print posters for campus events, personal motivational posters, and an awesome super hero styled poster for one of our great TAMU-CC athletes!

After Valentine’s Day the lab showed no signs of slowing down. From February 15 - 17 we hosted our first weekend long event, Invent for the Planet.  Two great Islander teams joined groups from around the world addressing global issues. In 48-hours they received their challenge, brainstormed, assigned tasks among the team, developed a prototype, and finished off with a group presentation!  Whew! You can read the full write up here.

Our makers seem to love the 3D printers the most so far. They run almost constantly.  We’ve made car parts, pieces for video game consoles, and many, many figurines. One project that was especially exciting for us was being asked to assist an Islander who is expanding our human knowledge. We helped 3D print some of her microscopic discoveries. It was exciting to be asked to be a part of this project.

3D printed microscopic organism

3D printed microscopic organism

While the 3D printers may be king, the CO2 Laser Cutter/Engraver and the CNC Router continue to be used by our makers in new and creative ways such as creating tools for art projects like engraving wood for block printing and even making a wood pottery stamp on the laser.

In a recent one-hour workshop on the CNC Router, we took an image from the web, brought it into the layout program for the CNC, created our tool paths and let the machine do its magic! Be sure to look for other workshops coming soon.

Portrait of woman engaved on wood using CNC router

For the students, staff, and faculty that have come and played, dreamed and created in our space a huge thank you!  For the rest of you, come by, explore, ask, and do!

David Jones, MakerSpace Technician

 

By: David Jones

Category: We Made This, Tech in the Library