SFA understands the importance of being able to let students follow their own passions and figure things out for themselves. In order to ensure our students have access to the tools and resources they need to follow those passions, we’re creating makerspaces and a machine shop in our new Cole STEM Building.
Makerspaces are collaborative workspaces where students can go to learn, explore, make and share ideas. Students can explore everything from coding to robotics, 3D printing to laser cutting as they work on their projects.
A traditional machine shop space for students and faculty with an area of 1003 ft2 (93.2 m2) is the office of Clay Watts, our in-house machinist. The shop provides access to a CNC (computer numerical control) mill, two lathes, band saws, a welding area and a host of fabrication tools for student and faculty research projects.
Safety is the highest concern, and Mr. Watts hosts instructional sessions for safe and proper usage of the machine shop equipment. These sessions are available for both students and faculty.
What to expect
The space is commonly reserved for students enrolled in EGR 460 and 470 capstone courses, but it also serves as a space for students in other engineering courses like EGR 111 and 112.
The space is outfitted with full presentation capabilities, as well as multiple whiteboards and chalkboards for illustration and problem-solving. Students have access to a variety of technology, including:
- 12 Surface Pro 3 tablets
- 5 Ultimaker 2+ 3D printers
Fun and friendly competition
There’s more to our machine shop and makerspaces than work. Our physics, engineering and astronomy competitions are a great way to have fun and meet Lumberjacks who share your interests.
Want to see how your ideas stack up against others? Get involved in the Human Powered Bicycle Competition. Want to send something into (near) space? Students involved in SFA’s Near-Space Projects have been experimenting with objects sent upwards of 60,000 feet into the air to record video footage and take measurements like pressure, altitude and temperature.