With the maker space movement, many people have been intrigued to learn 3D printing, laser cutting, and other forms of making. There tends to be a gap between this desire and initial training to being able to create one’s own project. Creating a project from scratch requires designing in 3D or 2D software and learning all the customizations needed to create the proper file type. Then, even once the proper file is developed, there’s still troubleshooting to get the file to print in the machine properly.
In the maker space I developed and run at MIT, we’ve found that closing this gap can be done by holding workshops to allow students to work together through this troubleshooting, while having guidance that offers different options of how to develop files. Newer makers can find files from GrabCAD or Thingiverse, learning to find correct file types and how to set them up in the machine. Slightly more experienced makers are able to learn how to develop files from scratch in a supportive community setting.
Many of our workshops can be found at the ProtoWorks workshops website. Below are a few of the ones for laser cutting and 3D printing, while subsequent posts will address electronics workshops and workshop instructional guides.
Coasters – can typically be made with wood sheet or a felt sheet