MTSU Walker Library hosts Makerspace Open House for technology enthusiasts


Video by Taylor Cole / Contributing Writer

Photo and story by Caleb Revill / Contributing Writer

Technology enthusiasts and intrigued students attended the MTSU Walker Library’s Makerspace Open House on Wednesday.

From virtual reality headsets to a Lego-built record player, the open house had a wide array of devices and trinkets to show off.

All kinds of gadgets were displayed for visitors to come and interact with. There was a Formlabs 3D Printer with several printed figures and models to view. The Formlabs 3D Printer is useful in testing a small number of test models without having to pay for many to be made.

There was also a laser cutter with the ability to precisely print etchings. The cutter can engrave designs on the top of a laptop without causing any damage.

Mike Wheaton, a library technology manager at Walker Library, explained the different materials that students have etched with the laser cutter.

“It will (safely) cut and etch anything organic, like wood, leather, paper and sugar cookies,” Wheaton said. “People have actually etched sugar cookies with this.”

The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive virtual reality devices were also available for students to demo. The Oculus Rift simulated a virtual reality experience via head motion, whereas the HTC Vive has several sensors set up to allow for users to move around in bot virtual reality and real life.

“I’m a developer for (virtual reality) games,” said Ryan Pombo, an MTSU animation and games design major attending the Makerspace event. “I develop for both the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. When you can build it and then jump into the scene that you made, it’s incredible. It never stops blowing my mind.”

Library Technology Director Neil McClain said that he built a record player out of Legos, cut a circle out of cardboard using the laser cutter and arranged different color patterns on the cardboard to represent different musical notes. McClain then programmed the Lego record player to detect the different colors on the disc and play the notes accordingly.

The Makerspace area is located in the Walker Library on the second floor. There, students can attend training courses on how to operate the 3D printers, laser cutter and other pieces of equipment provided.

Students interested in operating Makerspace equipment can click here to schedule a training. 

To contact News Editor Andrew Wigdor, email newseditor@mtsusidelines.com.

For more news, follow us at www.mtsusidelines.com, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter at @Sidelines_News.

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