Tag Archives: academic library makerspace

What Happens After You’ve Set Up an Academic Makerspace?

Thinking of setting up an academic makerspace?  Back in March, we presented on just that at LibTech: The Library Technology Conference at Macalester College. Take a look at our slides and notes– it’ll be almost like you’re there!

A very abbreviated version of this presentation was delivered at the WAAL 2017 conference lightning round.

ACM Maker Workshop

As part of the generous Faculty Career Enhancement Grant we received from the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) to get our makerspace up and running, we also had funding to host a 3D printing workshop for interested participants from fellow ACM schools. This workshop took place on the Lawrence University campus on August 4-5, 2016.

Bryan Alexander discusses 3D printing in liberal arts education.

The purpose of this workshop was to introduce 3D printing pedagogy to educators who may be interested in integrating it into their teaching and work. The workshop began with an informative and engaging presentation by Bryan Alexander, entitled, “3d Printing Across the Curriculum: From Liberal Education to the Replicator” (slides available in Lux or see the recording.) Other activities included a discussion of experiences with pedagogical applications of 3D printing, as well as hands-on design time to become acclimated to the technologies of 3D printing. The entire schedule is available at the workshop page.

Participants discuss pedagogical applications of 3D printing.

Participants came from eight different schools and a wide range of academic disciplines. Areas represented included, museum studies, education, art, English, chemistry, library, music, theatre, administration, and more! While the participants had differing academic backgrounds, there were many overlapping interests and concerns that led to some very enriching discussions.

Participants get hands-on experience with 3D modeling.

Photos from the event can be found in our workshop Flickr album. Some workshop highlights and more photos can be found at #ACMMAkers16 on Twitter. This workshop was a wonderful opportunity for educators to come together to share knowledge, to become comfortable with exciting technologies, and to make some new connections. Those of us who planned the conference are grateful to everyone involved for making it such a great experience!

3D Printing in Classes Winter Term

The makerspace has been getting a lot of use with coursework this term. In addition to the classes below, a handful of students have been working on really interesting independent studies (more details to come). Below are some photos from some of the classes that have used the makerspace equipment this term.

Students in Professor Hall’s Biochemistry class learn about proteins with 3D printed models and the app, PyMol. Photo by Liz Boutelle.

Professor Deanna Donohoue’s Instrumental Analysis class looks at the 3D printed SpecPhone. Photo by Liz Boutelle.

Professor John Shimon’s Photography class made exhibit letters with the electronic cutter. Photo from the LUMakerspace Twitter.

Professor John Shimon’s New Media in Art class learns about the 3D scanner and 3D printer. Photo by Liz Boutelle.


Creating a Space for the Makerspace

The makerspace is located in the first floor of the Seeley G. Mudd Library on the Lawrence University campus. The library was selected as a home for the makerspace because a campus library already maintains a reputation as a central place for all to gather. Students, faculty, and staff from a wide variety of majors and departments feel comfortable and welcomed in the library. The first floor of the library is the group study floor, which is almost always filled with students working together and interacting. This environment and reputation fit perfectly with a makerspace, as they traditionally provide a space where people gather and exchange ideas.

After we received funding for the equipment, it was time to get the space ready. The room in which the makerspace is housed was formerly our media center, a space which had seen little use in recent years. It was made up of a small office surrounded by an L-shaped work space. To make the space more constructive for a makerspace, we decided to take down a couple of walls and turn it in to one large space.  While taking down a couple of walls may sound like a small job, anyone who has been part of a renovation project knows that it can be a pretty complex undertaking. The room contained many cabinets and pieces of furniture that had to be carefully removed and stored, as well as a large pillar that functions as a building support. After the walls were removed, we were able to reuse much of the original cabinetry. While there were many factors to consider, the renovation project began in early July and was completed by early August.

This project came together very quickly, thanks to Steve Armstrong in Technology Services, Provost Dave Burrows, Library Director Pete Gilbert, and of course, our friends in Facility Services.

The inner office while we moved out equipment and made final plans.

The inner office as one of the walls is deconstructed.

The media work space as the equipment was being removed.

We reused as much cabinetry as possible.

The wall was down and it was one large space, but there was still a lot of finishing work that was done after this point.

The completed space! (well, half of it)

See more images of the renovation and the completed space in our Flickr album!