Prototyping Club members Ryan Confer, Easton Dobson, Bobby Erickson (President), Ray Greco, Andrew Krill (Vice President), Alexa Miller (Secretary), Ryan Severson (President-Elect), Lucas Smith, and Will Marshall worked on the project over the course of nine weeks. Together they created a beautiful 3D printed puzzle as a gift for the 100 judges of the competition.
Based upon a design by WildRoseBuild, the three piece puzzle (in UWM’s gold, black and white colors) features text reading “Industry,” “Students” or “Faculty.” They come together to form a strong, synergistic whole, greater than the sum of its parts, just like the Student Research Poster Competition. It is the combination of student motivation, faculty mentorship, and industry support that makes our competition—and our college—a standout success.
See the process (including a time-lapse of the 3D printing!) below.
In our Student Makerspace we have plenty going on! Each month we will feature some projects by our members.
INMOOV ROBOTIC HAND This project has been going on since the Winterim here at UWM. Matt and Alexa started this hand, with the goal of creating a biometric controlled robotic hand! They programmed an arduino to control the motors inside of the arm, which are connected by string tendons to control the fingers of the hand. Great work you two! It has been featured at some of our events, including the UWM Innovation Expo!
GEAR FIDGET CUBE This is a print that our president, Bobby, had found on Thingiverse. This has been a hit with all of our members! This fidget cube actually turns when you play with it. How neat is that?!?
MONITOR REPAIR AND ARDUINO Two of our members, Andrew and Ryan, recently fixed a broken computer monitor. Ryan brought it in, and they used our advanced electronics equipment to debug and diagnose the issue. They figured out that the “brain board” that controlled the monitor’s brightness was faulty. They whipped out an arduino, wrote some code, and got a working prototype solution. Then, they took the code from the arduino, and used a special programmer to put this code on a tinier board that would fit inside the monitor. They would be more than happy to help you fix or build anything electrical!
In case you haven’t heard, UWM has a makerspace available for use by students of ALL disciplines! Our newly renovated space will open some time this October, so keep an eye on our blog for when the official grand opening is!
So what is a makerspace anyway?
A makerspace, at its heart, is a place for people who like to build, invent, tinker and/or learn new skills and expand their minds. They have a wide range of skill sets in membership and you’re likely to find someone who can talk about almost any technical concept with you in a meaningful way. They are physical spaces where you can come and have access to wide array of equipment you are not very likely to have at home. Plus, there are folks around the space that can give you tips and pointers on operating that equipment effectively. In a makerspace community, members will train you to use the equipment, and ask that you do the same for others.
We aim to foster a community of makers by providing an environment in terms of people, equipment and space that supports the creative process and personal growth. Modern software, the Internet and economies of scale have all come together to allow ordinary people with a little bit of know-how to begin blurring the lines between manufacturer and consumer. With some effort and the help of a growing community of makers, it is possible for a lone individual to make things of amazing quality and functionality. Makerspaces act as hubs for the maker community, and are popping up all over the world. We may be on the verge of the ‘Age of the Amateur’, as one blogger put it.
So what does this mean for UWM?
The Student Makerspace at UWM is a student-volunteer run space. Many other universities, two notable examples being UW Madison and Georgia Tech, have student led/run makerspaces as well. Once open, our goal is to have student volunteers staffing the space during all normal business hours. Student Volunteers will supervise work being done in the space, will train students how to use equipment, and offer guidance and advice as needed. The space will be open and available during those “office hours”.
For more information, contact ATKrill@uwm.edu, or better yet, come to a meeting of the Prototyping Club! We meet weekly, Wednesdays from 6:00 to 7:00 at EMS E173. We also have Open Workshop time every Friday from 4:00-8:00 at EMS E173.