What Can You Create in the Makerspace?

Hello, fellow creators! In case you didn’t know, the McGregor Computer Science Center just opened up at the start of this school year, and the bottom floor features the Makerspace and the Machine Shop. As a freshman student currently in the engineering elective E4, I’ve gotten lots of exposure to both of these. I’m still blown away by how many resources we have for creation at Mudd, so I’ll share just a few of the things I’ve made during my time here!

First off, not to be forgotten: the E4 hammer. Building a hammer is one of the staples or “rites of passage” of Mudd (especially for engineering majors). While the hammer handle wasn’t required this year, I’ve created the rest of the hammer—the head and faces. The process was long, but I’m super excited with the final product and how much experience I’ve gained making it in the machine shop.

My finished hammer head! [Photo credit: Mikayla Mann]

I recently learned how to use the Makerspace’s waterjet cutter, which uses abrasive granules of garnet in a high-pressure stream of water to cut almost any material, including metal. Here is an example piece that we cut out! It’s meant to be a water droplet earring (with water droplets inside too.) If you can see small tabs sticking out, those are for keeping the piece on the sheet of metal while it’s being cut so it doesn’t fall into the water in the machine.

The water-droplet earring (I only have one though, oops…) [Photo credit: Mikayla Mann]

I also tried my hand at 3D printing! It’s a lot more intuitive than you might think, especially with the easy and online availability of 3D models in CAD that are ready to print right when you download them. I printed this “gear heart” and fit the pieces together so that when you turn one of the cogs, they all turn!

Aforementioned gear heart—or should I call it “geart?” [Photo credit: Mikayla Mann]

And now, for my favorite thing I’ve created so far—a 3D printed lizard! I found the CAD model online and used a rainbow filament, and the print took about 8 hours. We’ve affectionately named the lizard “Croissant,” and he has moveable joints so it feels like you’re holding a real lizard!

Lizard in potted plant

Croissant in his natural habitat. [Photo credit: Mikayla Mann]

My most recent creation came about when my family came to visit Mudd. I showed them how to use the laser cutter, and we laser-engraved a piece of plywood with a logo. One of the funny parts about the laser cutter is that it smells like a campfire after it’s finished cutting, which is pretty cool!

Plywood reading "The Succulent Cellar: Vineyard & Winery"

My mom and I holding our new creation. [Photo credit: Mikayla Mann]

Whenever you come to visit Mudd, I highly recommend visiting the Makerspace (after you’ve taken the safety quiz, of course!) Don’t be afraid to try new tools and machines, and you’ll be surprised at what you can create. And who knows, it might even “make” your day!

This blog was written by: Mikayla Mann, Major: considering biology or engineering; Hobbies: volleyball, reading, playing piano, skateboarding, photography. Social Media Intern: Class of 2025