The Project

The SDSU Maker Space

Today I worked with a real dummy: IMG_0087

This dress-maker mannequin was an invaluable assistant as the Makerspace Librarian Jenny Welch-Wong and I photographed the non-paper material in the collection. This included T-Shirts, modeled by the above mannequin, as well as hats, patches, keychains, flags, and even a comb!

Photographing these items was a new challenge that stood in contrast to the melodic nature of scanning. Instead of the whirring machine and methodically numbering pages, creating PDF’s, and running text recognition, I was forced to find creative and unique solutions to problems such as insufficient lighting, awkward angles, and reflective surfaces. Although I cannot share the pictures yet, it was a true pleasure to work in “build IT,” the official name for the SDSU Makerspace.

While there, I couldn’t help but poke around and investigate some of the projects in process. Thanks to Jenny Welch-Wong for the tour and explanations!*

The wooden square (left) was created using Carvey. Students write code to tell the machine where to cut, and viola! A similar process is occurring with the card on the right.


There are also numerous crafts based on sewing. To the right is the sewing corner, in which the dress-maker mannequin lives, alongside sewing machines. Below is an example of a project using sewable, conductive thread. Students from middle schools attend workshops in which they learn how to create a circuit using this thread. At the bottom is a sensor which, when covered, causes a light, on the top left, to flash. Students sew this circuit, and paint an image on the reverse. Although not picture, this was an image of a satellite and the sun, so when the satellite was covered, the sun would light up!CircuitFrame

To save the best for last, the majority of the projects in build IT stem from 3D printing. These items are created by the students, and take a variety of shapes: from 3D busts to dinosaurs, from moving gears to SDSU memorabilia, the students appear to have printed everything under the sun!

My two favorite items were, without a doubt, the cutest little octopus and this row of gradient ships (to show how different finishes look!).

The coolest part about this space? Any SDSU student can use it! Although there are time and resource restrictions, it is mostly open, and there are numerous student volunteers to assist!


*As with the archives tour, there is simply too much to describe in one blog post. I have reduced the tour to the items that photographed well.


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