The MIE Innovation Makerspace exists to encourage learning and to build an appreciation for engineering principles through both academic and personal projects. We aim to inspire and promote a community of makers, hackers, and general do-it-yourselfers in a place with a safe and familiar atmosphere. What started as a small collection of tools for projects that fell outside the scope of the Machine Shop has grown into a thriving community of students ranging from Freshmen to Super-Seniors.
By giving the students space and tools to work out design problems, we hope to encourage interactions between students of all grades to foster an engaged community of engineers who design, build, and create together. Through this fund, we aim to establish an endowment that will aid the MIE Department in funding this coveted student-run space on an annual basis! Should we fall short of the endowment threshold, all the funds will be converted to "current use" for the Makerspace!
The tools and supplies this space provides for students are simple but necessary. We have worked with the department to purchase and store equipment such as power tools, hand tools, and soldering irons. Simple tools like drills, saws, and even hot glue guns can be cost-prohibitive for students to own personally, but without these items prototyping projects are nearly impossible. Our most notable feature thus far is our 3D printing services fulfilled by two 3D printers. We educate our fellow students on proper design technique for additive manufacturing and offer turn-around times unmatched anywhere on campus. This service has provided the student body the design freedom they have been asking for at a price range that they can afford.
We have given back to the MIE community by hosting a semesterly “Tech Teardown” to encourage recycling, repair, and looking to products for design solutions. We have worked with the department to improve our surroundings, adding several large whiteboards for empty wall space, improving old shelving, and providing salvaged parts for both personal and academic projects. As all of these pieces come together the MIE Innovation Makerspace is actively changing the culture and focus of the MIE students for the better.