What is a Makerspace?
A makerspace is a place where ideas can become a reality by offering the latest in manufacturing technology and a hands-on environment to give Texas State University students, teachers, and staff the opportunity to take an idea or project and leave with a finished prototype.
Improving on the makerspace availability
While there are several other makerspaces across the campus, the Ingram Hall Makerspace is outfitted to support much larger, more precise, and harder projects. The IHM is a 6000sqft facility comprised of 4 different zones including rapid prototyping, industrial, welding, and wood working. The rapid prototyping space offers many 3D printers, lasers, and small form factor CNC mills while the industrial makerspace offers up more industrial sized and capable equipment. The Makerspace also offers other equipment such as a PCB maker and an assortment of tools for any project.
The overall goal of the space is to provide access to tools to make creative and innovate projects while focusing on academic teaching of the equipment. Each user should learn the equipment and its uses before gaining access to it through our TRACS training system.
The IHM also supports classes in new ways including the CAD/CAM class in which students are taught how to do basic CNC mill programming. Previously the class would only create their programs and then watch as someone else ran their program on a mini mill. Now the students will learn how the machine is operated and operate it themselves, strengthening their understanding of the machining process and setup process. Senior design is one of the main supported classes at the IHM. Students work with real companies on real life projects for that company and often need to produce prototypes and will utilize the Makerspace equipment to do this. Successful senior design projects are often displayed at the makerspace entrance.
The IHM also intends to be a forever growing space as the process of training and utilizing the equipment will continue to develop as we learn. The equipment list will continue to grow as well and become available as soon the training for that equipment has been created and tested.