Makerspace

  • 3D printing. Not as scary as you think!

    Alex came into the space several times before, but this time he was on a mission.  Determined to solve a design problem for his robotics class, he came to the makerspace to work through some possible solutions using 3D printing.

    As usual we wanted to encourage Alex not to simply download something online but to figure out how to ideate and design his solution.  We encourage this to ensure that students are learning innovative design skills through the process of 3D modelling and printing. Alex shares in his own words how he solved his design problems through the process of 3D modelling and printing:

    I am building a LEGO Mindstorms NXT robot for both my robotics class and my machine learning class. I wanted a robot with complex behaviours; one that can learn from its environment. I decided to swap out the low-caliber NXT “brain” that comes with simple programming software, a few MB of RAM and six AA batteries for a BrickPi.

    My problem was that I had to power the Raspberry Pi along with the motors. The motors get powered by 12V NiMH batteries, but these would drain quickly if they also had to power the Raspberry Pi. To counter this, I purchased a heavy-duty portable phone charger. Now this problem was that none of the LEGO pieces fit around the battery nicely without having a lot of space leftover. he closest fit meant that there were an even number of holes in my LEGO pieces, but most of them come with an odd number. This made much of my design asymmetric.

    I stumbled upon a blog written by a person who designed 3D printed lego parts; he had designed one for is Raspberry Pi camera along with other parts (like ball bearings among other things). I was fascinated and downloaded the models. I knew that Brock offered 3D printing services at the Makerspace which I had peeked into a few times before to see what was happening. They recently moved to a larger space and have plenty of printers. I asked to print the part I had downloaded, but they told me I had to design it myself since it was a creative space and they wanted to encourage learning. I offered to learn and they introduced me to TinkerCAD, an online 3D modelling program.

    I ended up using  Fusion 360 by Autodesk and designed the camera case myself. It was a steep learning curve which often involved having dozens of tabs open. I finished one design,was proud of myself, yet I had the whole weekend to consider my work.  I probably designed 6 or 7 cases before I was happy with the final design. I decided I wanted my phone charger and NiMH battery cases to be the same dimension on the outside (with different lengths) so that they would be closely compatible with each other. When I came in the next day, I discovered that my print turned out wonderfully. All of the holes were perfectly sized and when I went to check that all of the sides were compatible, everything fit snugly and perfectly.

    One of the greatest advantages of 3D printing the case was that since the battery is the core of the robot, I now had a large surface with lots of connections and that was sturdy. I also designed it so that the holes were odd-numbered so everything was compatible! I wouldn’t have been able to do this without the wonderful patience and support of the people at the Makerspace. In particular, I really appreciated their willingness to let me print several copies and point me in the right direction when I needed help.

     

    Alex Van de Kleut

    Brock University, 2019

    Neurocomputing, BSc Honours

    Applications of neuronal structures to machine learning algorithms and artificial general intelligence.

     

    It will be exciting to see how Alex approaches problem solving now that he has gained literacy in technology surrounding 3D modelling and printing.  

    Written by

    Tabitha Lewis

    Categories: Makerspace, Testimonials

  • Getting started with 3D Printing

    Have you thought about making something using a 3D printer? If so we can help you get started!

    Step 1: Visit Tinkercad and create an account

    Step 2: Go through the tutorial and learn the basics.

    Here is a great Lynda.com video, you can watch it at your convenience and learn even more.  Just log in with your Brock id.

    Once you are all done, visit the Library Makerspace and we can help you print your design.

     

    Categories: Makerspace

  • Student Spotlight: Taking the First Step: Using 3D modeling to enhance learning

    One of our Brock Library Makerspace champions shared a bit with Ultimaker about her journey to becoming proficient in 3D modeling and printing.

    View the blog to learn more.

    Ultimaker Blog

     

     

    Categories: Makerspace, Testimonials

  • On Display: 3D Printed Artifacts for Classics 2p32

     

    The Department of Classics and The Library Makerspace recently collaborated on an experiential learning project and all are invited to view the results. Replicas of Alexander the Great, the Pharaoh Hetshepsut, and the Venus of Willendorf are on display this week at the Thistle entrance to the Library.

    The works came about as a result of Carrie Murray, Tabitha Lewis, and Jonathan Younker’s work to create a project that would bring technology into the classroom. Students in CLAS 2P32 – Introduction to Archaeology, researched and wrote proposals to choose artifacts held in major museums for 3D printing. The chosen artifacts were printed in class this week.

    Following the exhibit, the artifacts will be moved to a display case in the Cypriote Museum, Department of Classics, and they will be used in upcoming courses.

    Are you interested in learning more about emerging technology? Check out the Library Makerspace in ST211 during Monday to Friday drop-in hours (10 am – 4 pm). Or, take in one of their free workshops listed on Experience BU.

    Tags: ,
    Categories: Main, Makerspace

  • Problem-based learning in the Makerspace

    Connecting to the CURRICULUM

    The Accelerated English Language Program (AELP) as part of their curriculum were assigned a problem-based learning task on a bottled water company.  Using an inquiry-based approach, students developed their own question about sustainable design and researched the topic using the library database.  The students developed a business case for their innovative design and prepared a 25 minute business presentation.  As part of the presentation, students produced an actual infused, flavoured sparkling water along with the innovations in the design of the water bottle and water bottle holder.  Once the design was produced, the students went to the Makerspace to produce a prototype of their water bottle holder design.  Students worked on a number of programs before printing their prototype on a 3D printer.  After printing, the students presented their 25 minute business case presenting with the innovations they designed.

    I think the project was successful, as it gave them not only the ability to talk about their ideas, but also insight into the process, which gave them a little more to work with.

    Hand drawn images to 3D models

    Project steps:

    Students took their hand drawn image and scanned it using the Doodlefab.ninja website.  We converted the scanned image into an SVG file and imported it into Tinkercad.  We took our new 3D logo and impressed it into a 3D model of a bottle holder 3D model file.  After exporting the new design we sent it to Makerbot Desktop to prepare it for printing.  Below are the images for each stage.

    Categories: Makerspace

  • Makerspace and EAP at OAIE conference

             

    It was such a pleasure partnering with Brock’s ESL Services to participate in the OAIE Conference, June 18th – 20th, 2017.  This annual conference was filled with great workshops that explored the challenges and celebrated the accomplishments experienced by International Education all over Ontario.  The OAIE conference welcomes educators, administrators, and recruiters who work in EAP programming.

    As a representative of the Library Makerspace, I really wanted to share some of the collaborations with the Brock IELP students, and highlight benefits of the project and inquiry based learning approaches used in our makerspace.  The presentation was well-received from the approximately 30 participants in attendance.  For many, this was the first opportunity to hear about Maker spaces and culture in an academic setting. We received a lot of great feedback about our presentation and people were excited about the possibilities for future experiential learning projects they could incorporate within their institutions.

    One of the conference themes was interdepartmental and community collaboration.  I believe that our proposal showcased a unique collaboration that speaks to the needs of the 21st century learner.  One of the benefits in presenting to a diverse group, was it gave us further insight into how to better design collaborative programming for the future.

    EAP & Makerspace Projects: A Unique Collaboration

    Our interactive presentation introduced four novel collaborations especially designed for international students as they transition into undergraduate studies. The focus was on best practices that can be adopted by participants looking to develop projects that appeal to creativity and add learner engagement, or to departments looking to establish connections across campus.

    PRESENTERS: James Papple, Academic Coordinator, Brock University / Tabitha Lewis, IT Support Technician/Makerspace Coordinator, Brock University

    We hope to share more as we learn and try more.

    Categories: Makerspace

  • Maker Culture Cafe @ Mahtay

    Wow! Our first Maker Culture Think Tank event was such a success!

    Thanks again to all who were able to come down the day of and support in any way.  Thanks for being supportive of the vision to host fun and interactive events that connect Brock to the community using emerging technology.

     I’ve heard nothing but good things about our May 18th event and I’m excited for what’s ahead.

    Categories: Makerspace

  • Library Speaker Series … Bright Ideas You can Use

    The Brock Library is set to launch the Library Speaker Series next week with the aim of exploring new directions, roles and initiatives for the academic library.

    Our first talk – a panel discussion on Makerspaces in Higher Education, will be held Wednesday, May 3rd from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The Makerspace movement offers libraries new ways to engage with students, forge new campus collaborations, and participate in discussions surrounding new understandings of both teaching and learning. All are invited to learn how these unique spaces in libraries can unleash creativity and innovation to solve real-world problems. Dr. Camille Rutherford, Department of Teacher Education and Dr. Karen Smith, Department of Popular Culture, Communication and Film will share their knowledge and experience in a panel discussion along with Tabitha Lewis from the Library Makerspace team.

    Makerspaces in Higher Education: a Panel Discussion
    Wednesday May 3, 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
    Thistle 253 (Library E-Classroom)

    All are Welcome!

    Categories: Main, Makerspace

  • The Art of Making

    The piece, “My Findings Suggest that there is No Fixed Reality” is an interactive installation which incorporates drawing, animation, and audio.  It is the kind of immersive art I have always wanted to produce but didn’t know how to execute.  Meeting with the Makerspace at Brock equipped me with the tools and the resources to realize this project and push it from something inanimate into something the viewer can interact with.”

    Caterina Luba Stambolic – 4th year, Fine Arts

     

    Tags: ,
    Categories: Makerspace

  • Game Design in the Makerspace

    It’s not too late! Check out our game challenge on Experience BU and enter.

    We are looking for the best:

    • Characters
    • Asset and background design
    • Game music (score)

    Submit entries to makerspace@brocku.ca with subject title –  Game Design.

    Tags:
    Categories: Makerspace