The School of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) at Georgia Institute of Technology (GATECH) is the latest venue to offer a MakerSpace and has opened a new Materials Innovation & Learning Lab (MILL). This is the second time in one week that 3DPI has reported on the opening of a new MakerSpace. At the end of October, College of the Canyons in California also opened their second MakerSpace due to the popularity of the first lab on its Valencia campus. The MILL at GATECH is one of at least two other MakerSpaces at the institute, joining an Aero MakerSpace, and one for electrical computer engineering that is under construction.
Fourth year MSE student Ben Ibach has overseen the creation of the MILL which has been a year in the making. Commenting on the reasons behind the renovation he says;
MSE students felt like there was something missing from their degree, where students didn’t really feel like they were really utilizing the things they learn in their lectures outside of class, in the lab setting, until they got to an internship. … That’s kind of where the idea was initially born.
The MILL fills two redundant labs in the institute’s J. Erskine Love Jr. Manufacturing building, and accommodates five new multi-material 3D printers among its equipment, which also includes a scanning electron microscope and a tensile tester for performing mechanical tests on materials. Ibach is especially enthusiastic about the possibilities the 3D printers add to MSE’s learning program, he adds;
What you can do with these 3D printers is that you can vary things like whether it’s a solid or it has a honeycomb structure on the inside. The MSE department has this big focus on how little tiny changes to a material can affect overall properties of what you’re creating.
In our recent call for information about your local Fab Labs we have received quite a few emails from people eager to tell us about their projects. In speculating on who will be the 1000th Fab Lab, we’ve also received information that Fab Labs may have already hit 1000 and surpassed the mark! It’s exciting news for Industry 4.0, and we look forward to hearing more from those of you who work in Fab Labs and/or MakerSpaces within your community. If you have something to say you can email us here, citing ‘Fab Lab’ or ‘MakerSpace’ in the subject field.
Featured image shows the Tech Tower at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. Photo via: nique.net