NJIT Makerspace – The NJIT Dream Machine Team
Upon entering the Makerspace, students are immediately greeted by a familiar design found in many startups; the layout is open, making all rooms visible to passers-by to encourage learning in a hands-on environment. The staff are welcoming, warm and ready to help students achieve their dreams. All students need a valid NJIT ID and a 30-minute introductory course covering security, rules, and an overview of the tools they will have access to. From there, the facility is their oyster.
Makerspace represents NJIT’s investment in giving their students a hands-on approach to learning, turning them from students to creators – and what an investment it is. Makerspace claims to be New Jersey’s largest educational facility, spanning 21,000 square feet and containing over $ 3,000,000 in cutting-edge technology and tools. Inside, manufacturers will develop practical skills using technology and tools of the trade.
According to Makerspace manager Justin Suriano, this is a necessary step forward. âIt is not enough to enter the industry with a simple knowledge of books. You should be able to show that you can actually do something, âhe explained. âWorking with the technology in the NJIT Makerspace gives you real experience with the machines you might build parts or technology for. ”
The first phase of NJIT’s Makerspace added heavy machinery – including band saws, metal 3D printing, CNC lathes, woodworking, metalworking and more. The level of danger of the tools used implied an increased need for supervision. However, phase two requires much less supervision. Manufacturers of all skill levels, degrees and experience levels can learn how to use the installation tools through guided lessons from the helpful staff at Makerspace.
The NJIT Makerspace is also unique in that anything created in the student-designed space remains the intellectual property of the student. This differs from traditional makerspace models and allows manufacturers to pursue their vision without fear of losing their rights.
Although it has been a mainstay in previous semesters, Makerspace 2.0 has experienced a slower restart as students return to their daily lives. âThe ongoing struggle is that this is primarily a suburban campus,â Suriano said. âThe students go to class and go home. We want to influence culture in a way that gives students a reason to stay and do!
With less initial demand, manufacturers can better understand tools without having to work faster. In fact, it’s a motto that Make101 students will pick up quickly: âSlow is smooth and smooth is fast. Demand in Makerspace tends to increase towards the end of the semester, as students begin to build their prototypes for final projects and their senior synthesis projects. This makes the start of the semester a prime time for students to start exploring Makerspace and all it has to offer.
To make it easier to return to in-person classes, Makerspace is currently hosting a Rocket Bottle Challenge where manufacturers can compete to create low-orbit soda bottle rockets, aided by 3D printers, laser cutters, and staff every step of the way. of the process. Trials continue throughout September and culminate on contest day on October 1, where manufacturers can win Visa gift cards ranging from $ 100 to $ 200.
For those who miss the Rocket Bottle Challenge, there is plenty to be excited about. Makerspace will host a MakerSpeaks series throughout the year with industry experts giving talks on the technology and their experiences within the industry. Next semester, we hope to add a course-long project that allows creators to test the knowledge they have learned in the classroom and spark their imaginations. Makerspace plans to offer additional long-term courses, on top of the advanced manufacturing and mechatronics training program, which comes at an additional cost. For more information, visit https://www.njitmakerspace.com or stop by the facility located in the GITC building.