What is a Makerspace?
A makerspace is a place where ideas can become a reality by offering the latest in manufacturing and prototyping technology in an hands-on environment to give Texas State University students, teachers and staff the opportunity to create or prototype whatever comes to mind. The Ingram Hall Makerspace specifically is an Academic Makerspace, which means we focus on the academic benefit to student operated equipment. All of our equipment has training modules , many have public workshops, and we even have events, all to help support students with zero knowledge of any of the equipment. The Ingram Hall Makerspace aims to not make students machinist or welders, but innovative thinkers and creative makers.
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 11,000sqft 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. Attached are 5 teaching labs including Senior Design Fabrication, CIM/Instrumentation, Composites and Advanced Additive manufacturing!
The IHM also supports currently 7 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 but now the students will learn how the machine is operated and operate it themselves, strengthening their understanding of the machine programming process as each step they physically take in front of the machine are immediately correlated to end product in the case of their program. Senior design is one of the main supported classes as nearly all projects are manufactured, stored and developed in the Ingram Hall Makerspace. Successful senior design projects are often displayed at the makerspace entrance. The IHM supports many more class projects through project assignments and are always looking to support more!
The Ingram Hall Makerspace is a new resource, which means it is currently still in development and intends to continue to grow in usage and capabilities. Currently, in Fall of 2019, we serviced around ~3,500 uses and it’s continuously growing.