The Maker Lab has captured the attention of many students in its first semester being open.
The Maker Lab houses a vinyl cutter, a 3D printer, a 3D scanner and other equipment that enables students and faculty to create with and learn from each other.
“The Maker Lab is quite remarkable,” William Kirklen, sophomore English major from Abilene, said. “It is a great place to think, to imagine, to summon the very ideas of my mind into existence, which is pretty cool.”
The Maker Lab was built as a part of the Maker Movement, which is spreading among campus libraries.
“The reason I started living in the maker lab was first because I heard of the 3D printer. I was fascinated by the idea of the process and wanted to see it for myself,” Kirklen said. “Soon friends joined me and it quickly became a place of fascination and creation.”
The possibilities of creation are endless in the Maker Lab and have students enchanted.
“I’ve printed a few things on both of the 3D printers and I am amazed by the complexity and the possibilities that lie in wake for my fellow students to discover and create,” Kirklen said.
The Maker Lab has benefitted faculty as well and has provided a new way to educate students.
“The Maker Lab has brought both curricular and co-curricular benefits to students,” said James Langford, co-director of the Maker Lab and Director of Educational Technology. “Both art and design and physics and engineering conduct regular classes and labs in the space and so benefit from the various tools and materials we keep on hand.”
Many projects have come out of the Maker Lab and there are many more to come.
“Faculty from English, engineering and art and design collaborated on an electric guitar and amp combination, an art alum collaborated with Maker Lab personnel and faculty to create a three-dimensional version of one of his well-known paintings, students have created various kinds of new packages for local products,” Langford said.
One of the projects that students and faculty are working on is creating stools and tables for the lab space.
“One of the things we realized once we started creating in the lab was that we didn’t have furniture,” said Lyndell Lee, educational technology specialist.
Students use the space to solve real world problems in and outside of ACU.
“We wanted to practice what we preach, so we said ‘what can we do to solve this problem?’ and built some stools,” Lee said.