Let’s get crafty in the Makerspace

In the Makerspace, students can get hands-on experience working with a variety of tools such as a sewing machine, laser cutter and a 3-D printer.

Photo by Alexa Christie | A craft project created within the Makerspace.

Have you ever wanted to dabble in a new hobby but didn’t want to invest too much into it? At  UWT’s Makerspace, students can get hands-on experience working with equipment that fits a variety of hobby needs, such as tools to get into laser cutting, vinyl printing, sewing, 3-D printing, crochet, knitting and more. 

The Makerspace, which has been open for around 8 months, holds a variety of clubs each day of the week where students can meet with like-minded students to learn the basics about the equipment, work on projects together or just to hang out. 

The Makerspace, located in the Snoqualmie building, allows UWT students to gain experience with technology and equipment that they may not normally have access to, says staff member D’Andre Williams who helps oversee the Makerspace. 

“The goal is to provide a space where there is peer-to-peer teaching and learning where students can have access to multi various equipment that they normally wouldn’t have access to whether it’s for hobby purposes or school purposes to come together to make something,” said Williams. 

“It’s more about students finding something they like and utilizing the emerging technologies of today. For example, the 3-D printer, that’s a widespread technology in aerospace design for Boeing’s overhead cabinets…the Makerspace is to get more people involved in some of the more prominent technologies of today,” said Michael McAlexander, a senior studying IT and informational assurance. 

At the Makerspace, most materials are provided by the Makerspace for student use except for things such as fabric for the sewing machine. The Makerspace accepts donations for materials and has received donated yarn, fabric and knitting/crochet needles in the past.  

Students who wish to use the space will need to take an online safety test regarding the equipment they would like to use beforehand. Students will also need to sign a Makerspace agreement that requires the student to acknowledge that they will be safe with the equipment in the space. 

Photo by Alexa Christie | How-to guides offered in the Makerspace for students.

Afterwards, students will be able to use the equipment with the guidance of Makerspace staff. To reserve the equipment for a certain time period, students can do so on the Makespace website and reserve any time during shop hours Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 

Of course, students do not need to have a project they are working on to be in the space. The Makerspace is welcoming of all students at all skill levels who may just want to check out the equipment, study, or hang out with friends. 

“People are welcome to come in to use this space whether it’s just for studying or hanging out or they are currently working on one of our pieces of equipment,” said Williams. 

If you would like to find out more about the Makerspace, or reserve time for the equipment, you can go here https://tacomamakes.ds.lib.uw.edu/ for more information. 

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