Makerspaces, also known as hackerspaces or hackspaces, are facilities that allow innovative, enterprising individuals to come together to create in a common space. These spaces come furnished with special equipment and resources that can be used in the development of a product or project. Makerspaces may include a 3D printer, welding or woodworking tools, and other materials used to build or produce.
Several spaces exist across the Athens Campus and throughout our region, with new makerspaces expected to open within the next few years.
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Athens Campus Makerspaces
Academic & Research Center (ARC)
Russ College of Engineering and Technology students use the ARC Hangar for large senior design and competition team projects. The two-story space features three glass garage doors, a floor hatch, and an industrial crane. Students have used the project hangar to work on automobiles, move heavy equipment, and build a concrete canoe.
CoLab’s mission is to enable and empower students to live and grow through creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Through this, they hope to achieve a more connected and innovation-focused community that creates with the goal of changing the world. CoLab serves as a central hub that unites students from all backgrounds and embeds innovation and entrepreneurship into their lives.
CREATE_space in Putnam Hall is available to faculty, students, and staff to develop projects that blend together the arts, technology, and entrepreneurship. Users have access to equipment to assist with projects related to audio and sound, photography and video, lighting and studio, and other areas in the arts.
The Innovation Center’s 3D Printer Lab and Prototyping Facility is available for short runs of student art, engineering design projects, business products, or other uses. The laboratory director can walk individuals through the process of creating 3D projects.
Several spaces are provided throughout Seigfred Hall for students in the College of Fine Arts to work on projects related to their disciplines. Seigfred has a wood shop, a letterpress printing facility, and several other specialized studios, laboratories, and shops.
This workshop space is available to any Russ College student, and a lab technician can provide assistance with using the tools to work with metal, wood, and plastic. The shop has welding equipment, manual lathes, milling machines, and CNC lathes and mills.
Game Research and Immersive Design (GRID) Lab
The GRID Lab is used for the research and development of virtual, augmented, and mixed reality experiences and technology, serious and educational games, simulations, computer animation, and motion capture. It was opened in 2005 to provide the University with the personnel, facilities, and tools to create such interactive digital media and technologies.
Athens Community Makerspace
The Ohio Valley Museum of Discovery has joined with local student makers to create an educational makerspace within their new location at 67 Columbus Road in Athens. The planned Discovery Lab makerspace, mobile maker and STEAM exploration activities will include laser cutters, 3D printers, arduinos, music recording equipment, a TeacherGeek Maker Cart, hand tools, investigative equipment, and more. The museum seeks to engage the community through workshops, guiding students through a series of hands-on, interactive maker activities that foster creative discovery-based learning. While the Discovery Lab space itself is currently under construction, the museum will bring mobile makerspace and STEAM exploration activities to middle and high school students in the form of Discovery Packs available for classrooms and group gatherings.