Think. Make. Share.
Creativity, invention, and innovation are values championed as central pillars of engineering education. However, university environments that foster open-ended design-build projects are uncommon. Fabrication and prototyping spaces at universities have typically been “machine shops,” where students relinquish actual manufacturing activities to trained professionals or are only accessible for academic assignments to highly trained students. The desire to make design and prototyping more integral to the engineering experience led to the idea to create a free-to-use makerspace within the Batten College of Engineering and Technology at Old Dominion University.
The roughly 7,000 sq. ft. makerspace will be located on the second floor of Monarch Hall (former education building). This modern collaboration and prototyping space will facilitate technological innovation among our students and faculty. The key functions of an academic maker space are to encourage students to invent, design, prototype, build and test; support design focused coursework and encourage entrepreneurship.
Makerspaces are not new. Many educational institutions have established makerspaces to complement traditional learning classroom environments while providing a venue for creative design and collaboration. Museums, libraries, schools, universities and independent organizations now offer makerspaces worldwide, bringing together technology and community with new technologies such as 3D printers and scanners, laser cutters and software, along with traditional fundamentals like woodworking, electronics and metalworking.
Beginning in the fall of 2018, hundreds of students each month with will plan, create, meet and mentor one another while taking innovative ideas from concept and design to prototype and delivery. The facilities will demonstrate the value and sustainability of hands-on, design-build education to stimulate innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship in engineering undergraduates.
Securing support and funding for the makerspace is one of our highest priorities not only because it will enhance the student experience, but also because it will push the boundaries of innovation, solve the problems of the day, create jobs of the future and have a direct and positive impact on the industries our students and faculty serve.
The Ten Proposed Spaces Including:
Dedicated "Ideation Space"
The engineers emerging from universities today are expected to be critical thinkers, team participants, leaders and problem solvers. Dedicating Ideation Space in the makerspace fosters these important workplace skills, giving ODU engineers an edge.
Modern equipment for key research that can transform lives – such as an ongoing ODU engineering project investigating muscle exercise metabolism in diabetes.
Large Bed 3-D Printer
As more enterprises use 3D printing to make their products, additional opportunities are created in the workforce. Companies in manufacturing, aerospace, healthcare and other industries need graduates who understand the technology and are experts in 3D design.
Powerful and versatile, a laser cutter will allow motorsports team members, for example, to develop their own braking systems from design to installation on site rather than having to send out design and make adjustments post production.