Photos and story by Toriana Williams.
Did you know that Middle Tennessee State University offers free-to-use equipment such as 3D printers, vinyl cutters, virtual reality equipment and more for MTSU students? That’s what Wednesday’s Makerspace Open House on Wednesday was all about.
The Makerspace can be found in the James E. Walker Library on the second floor in the Micro Text room. There you can find knowledgeable and friendly staff, and according to the library’s website, “unique facilities to enable the exploration for learning experiences, collaboration and creative expression.”
Many of the demos and presentations at Makerspace Open House truly displayed some of the exploration and creative expression done there. There were 3D printed models of Hogwarts, free stickers that were made in house, robots traversing the floor, a virtual reality game of angry birds and so much more.
“Whether you want to use (a 3D printed object) as a presentation aid for your class…or if you just want to have a replica of something because it’s important to you, you can do that here,” said Valerie Hackworth, manager of Makerspace, “and it’s free! You do have to be trained before you can use the equipment, so the only thing it costs you is your time.”
MTSU student Andrew Tubbs was spending his time wisely during the Makerspace Open House. “I’m in a design class where we have to build a robotic arm that can sort hardware. And that’s what I’m 3D printing right now…It’ll have the ability to sort through screws, nails, nuts and bolts and whatnot. The arm will move one way and the software will identify the part and will figure out how to orient itself so it can pick it up.” For some, it’s hard to imagine you can do all that in one room in a library on a college campus.
“It’s shocking, really. I know I’m old,” said 73 year old Nelly Anderson, “and it would probably take me a whole ‘nother lifetime to understand any of this, but it’s very impressive. You can see the future here at MTSU.”
If you would like to see the future for yourself, sign up for training or just learn more information about Makerspace, click here.
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