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IISE further presents Bradley’s creative Makerspace to students

The Barton Makerspace is open to students of all majors at certain hours. Photo by Anaiah Davis.

The student chapter of Bradley’s Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE) hosted an informal event on Nov. 17 to introduce students to the Barton Makerspace room. The Makerspace has different machines available for use in BECC 1240.

Students took a closer look at the machines, talked with peers and asked questions to those who work within the space.

After fall break, the room was opened to all majors. Nicholas Ruskowksy, senior electrical engineering major and event coordinator, wanted to share the possibilities of the machines for students.

“The reason why I wanted to get involved was basically to contribute to leadership and get a space up and running for Bradley students to be able to create whatever they want, when they want,” Ruskowksy said.

Gabrielle McMillan, a junior industrial engineering major who works in the makerspace, said the machine that attracts the most attention from students is the 3D printer. She explained that the process for learning any machine is through a belt system.

“[It’s] kind of like karate; the white belt is [where you] start off,” McMillan said. “We give a certain task depending on the belt that you’re at … and the belt system is for all the machines. If you wanted to [learn] sewing, we’d give you material, teach you the basics of [operating] the machine and go from there.”

While the makerspace is run and operated by students, those participating coordinate with Julie Reyer, Interim Dean of engineering and associate professor. Reyer dictates the capabilities of the group and they provide recommendations from students of any major on what they want to try out.

Some students can use their class experiences and receive training on beginner-level machines. They can then move onto the machine shop where more high-tech appliances are located.

While not all are currently available, some of the machines that can be found are the 3D printer, laser engraver, soldering iron, camera equipment, sewing machine and others.

As students explored what the creation station had to offer, some saw themselves returning.

“I think it’s pretty cool that they have a lot of [machines],” Nabeela Rahman, freshman electrical engineering major, said. “I haven’t been able to try anything because I wasn’t sure how it worked. I think now I’ll be coming in more often to see what I can do.”

Anyone can check out the Barton Makerspace Monday to Thursday from 3-8 p.m, Friday from 12-5 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in BECC 1240.

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