Make All The Things Part 1: Having Fun and Being Creative at the Makerspace

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what is a makerspace - maker education

What is a Maker Space?

I would highly suggest everyone to join a local makerspace, hackerspace or fab lab within your area. There will be various tools that allow one to be inquisitive and inventive there. 3D printers, CNC machines, laser cutters, vinyl cutters, electronics, wood work areas, and sometimes welding are all at one’s fingertips. When one leverages 3D printing in particular with other tools, the ideas begin to come out quickly.

It is highly advised to follow the project based learning method. Project-Based Learning is an instructional methodology that encourages individuals to learn and apply knowledge and skills through an engaging experience. Project based learning presents opportunities for deeper learning in-context and for the development of important skills. When a project is done, we are able to readily pick up skills and prerequisite information. Typically, projects allow us to expand our minds and learn new skills. In a makerspace, a project is readily turned into a physical product that is tangible for the end user. Before joining a makerspace I had various skills in basic 3D printing. When I am in one of these environments though, the brain allows one to get creative and start experimenting with different areas and tools within the space. It then expands our minds to make interesting items and projects outside of our usual areas of expertise. This in turn makes us more capable at a variety of things. It also empowers one to realize that they can learn anything new so long as they put in some effort.

Gucci LionHead Ring

For the longest time, I had been researching online different rings with lion head designs. I was frustrated because the typical price for a ring such as this would be around $100 – $300 dollars. When I was around my local makerspace, I quickly was introduced to different machines and tools that would allow me to make such a ring. I even am able to leverage 3D printing to do this as well.

 

Fabrication Lab

The type of people one meets at a makerspace or fabrication lab help to liven up the day. You will meet some of the most interesting and creative people in these spaces. They are typically hard-working people and motivated people. An environment can definitely affect someone. Being in this environment one is inspired to experiment and mess around. When I walk into a makerspace I feel that a bit of sensory overload is occurring. It stimulates one’s mind to realize how much possibility is around. You have to imagine walking into an industrial space such as an old factory. Then when you enter the factory, a variety of tools and areas are within your grasp. It just takes a curious mind to see all of these options. Think of everything you own as a consumer. Now you have the realization that you can make it all. It is an intriguing and eye-opening experience.

The just do it mentality is well and alive within a makerspace as well as a fabrication lab. You just are advised to get going. When one is able to start and make, it allows them to forget perfection. Perfection is the opposite of what these spaces entail. Experimentation allows one to fail and learn as they go. It makes the process easier as we progress. Rapid iteration and prototyping allows for someone to forget the need to be perfect and it makes things plausible and not seem so difficult. The ability to be present and experiment really expands one’s views on the world as well as their own efficacy in it. After only a couple of ideas and initiative, I have a full fledged plan to make a personalized ring with different machines and 3D printing technology.

For a follow-up, I will be documenting the process required to make jewelry while leveraging 3D printing and classical jewelry methods.

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