College of the Canyons gets a new MakerSpace

California’s College of the Canyons (COC) officially opened up their second MakerSpace facility last week, giving their students and community members a new place to manufacture and prototype their ideas.

Dr. Ron McFarland, dean of COC’s School of Applied Technologies said ‘If somebody is an inventor, a creative genius or just a tinkerer, they can come to MakerSpace and explore, develop or even build out a concept to its fruition.’

The new facility is equipped with 3D printers, modelling software and robotics that will allow the community members around COC to create with a series of resources that wouldn’t be available for individuals working alone.


Gif above shows a motion sensing robot made in the MakerSpace at COC. Source: College of the Canyons on Youtube.

McFarland says the development of the MakerSpace should be as organic as possible. ‘We’ll shape up our MakerSpace for what the campus and community demands because not every MakerSpace is one-size-fits all,’ he told The Signal from Santa Clarita Valley.

The First COC MakerSpace

Just a few months earlier COC opened their first MakerSpace at their Valencia campus. The space has given students access to electronics, robotics, 3D printing, manufacturing and CNC routing, laser etching and cutting, and a sewing machine.

Although a lot of people have began using the facilities from this first MakerSpace, so far the largest population of users are students from the architecture program. According to McFarland, they use the manufacturing equipment to produce models of their architectonic designs.

‘The engineering department has shown some interest and also the computer science people have started an ACM club, which stands for Association for Computing Machinery, and they’re using the MakerSpace,’ McFarland said.

The Valencia campus. Image via Your Hometown Station
The Valencia campus. Image via Your Hometown Station

Chris Walker is the manager of Valencia’s MakerSpace, and experienced in the electronic engineering and architectural fields. He added that, ‘We have at least one or two people in there every day 3D printing. We have our regular set that spends the week there.’

Dr. Ron McFarland hopes to develop a series of activities within the MakerSpace. Proposed events include coding competitions, collaborations with the Santa Clarita Public Library, and the creation of a MakerSpace Club.

The development of new MakerSpaces continue at a fast pace all around the world. MakerSpaces represent a true democratization of manufacturing capabilities, allowing people from any background to develop their own ideas into actual products. Take for instance the number of Fab Labs due to hit 1000 in the next year, or the falling prices of 3D printers; it might only be a matter of a few years before every city has at least one fabrication space open to the community.

Featured image via Santa Clarita Valley Signal.