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Category “makerspace”

Form 2 vs 3

Formlabs put out a really nice comparison on the Form 2 vs Form 3. We have a 2 at the IRL, and it is in constant use. Definitely keeping an eye on these changes as we continue building out makerspaces at DePaul.


Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

IRL2 Building Up, pt. 1

I’ve been pretty busy over the last six months designing, outfitting, and getting all of the systemic structures in places for a second makerspace at DePaul University. As part of this big push, I had to develop floor plans for the space. These have substantially changed over time, so I wanted to start logging my process and evolution. This is part one of I have no idea how many parts.

The plans below were the original layout for IRL2 (or IIRL). A heavy focus had to be placed on the unique characteristics of our Lincoln Park campus, as well as the physical location of the space (second floor, with difficulties getting materials up). Thus, the space focuses on smaller machines (and thus, smaller materials).

Note, as well, the large amount of space dedicated to open work. This is based on feedback that we received from students, as well as casual observations from my student workers, that indicated people wanted even more space to spread out and get their work done. Lounge space was also invested in, as the IRL lounge is one of its most popular spaces. Finally, we invested in a larger sink, anticipating a similar popularity of screen printing that the IRL currently enjoys. Bigger sinks make it easier to clean screens.

In the next part, I’ll share how these plans have evolved since their creation, the considerations that led to those changes, and the challenges (and opportunities!) that have come up as this process has continued.


Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

This Should Work Episode 18 – Aaron Hoover

Episode 18 kicks off a series of interviews I’ve conducted/am conducting around educational makerspaces. The series includes conversations with people from higher ed, K-12, libraries, and other institutions, and is geared toward providing a snapshot into how leaders in the field view their work, challenges, and opportunities that makerspaces bring to education.

Aaron Hoover is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Olin College and one of the founders of the Higher Education Makerspaces Initiative and the International Symposium on Academic Makerspaces. In this episode, Aaron and I discuss the state of maker education in higher education including the challenges and opportunities that educators face in this context. This interview is the first part in a series of interviews about makerspaces in education.


Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

Bits to Atoms

Thanks to everyone who came to my “Bits to Atoms” Alumni University talk this weekend. If you’re looking for slides, they can be found here. From what I understand, the talk filled up so quickly that they’re looking to run it again (and soon!). Stay tuned.


Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

Southland Makerfest Timelapse

Thanks to Ron Angle, from Angle Drone Solutions, for taking this video from our event last weekend!


Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

Southland Makerfest in the news

Great write-up about our event was in the Chicago Tribune a little bit ago. Check it out!


Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

Make it at DePaul High Schooler Summer Camp

Here’s a PDF for download-and-print purposes. To be first in line when registration opens, sign up here.


Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

CPS Tech Talk

Happy to announce that Sarah and I will be hosting a session on “Makerspace Considerations” for CPS’ upcoming Tech Talk. This is based off a post we co-wrote a while back. Look forward to seeing you there!


Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

Interesting Article on Mobile Makerspaces

The mobile makerspace idea has fascinated me for a while now and, in fact, I’ve been working on a proposal for such a program in Chicago. Campus Technology recently wrote a piece about the Nebraska Library Commission receiving a ~$500k grant to bring these kinds of labs to rural areas. I really like this idea, as it spreads the makerspace concept to otherwise unreachable areas: technology deserts. From the piece:

JoAnn McManus, who is the project manager for the program, noted that typically only larger libraries can afford to set up makerspaces. The Library Commission wanted to provide that opportunity for smaller, rural communities. “We are showing small rural communities in Nebraska what a makerspace look like and how the community will react to it,” she explained. “They’re finding it’s much easier to fundraise around bringing in a makerspace in their community when they’ve already developed interest in it.”


Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

Why Makerspaces at DePaul (or any other institution)?

A while back I put this report together with a colleague from DePaul, Betty Shanahan. It outlines why makerspaces are important for DePaul, but more broadly, could be used as a starting point for discussing why makerspaces are important at any academic institution. The survey data that we collected (and that’s referenced in the report) is, in part, informed by some survey best practices that I learned at the Making Makerspaces certification course run by HEMI. If you’re in higher ed, and you’re trying to find a way to get your colleagues on board with developing a makerspace, I hope you find this useful!


Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus