Maker Profile

Who are you and what do you make?

My job is to facilitate the work of makers on our campus - be that help with solid modeling, choice of 3d printer material, or recommended settings for the laser cutter. Next year I will also supervise student workers in our more traditional shop area.

What's the favorite thing you've made?

A scratch-built hams radio transmitter when I was 13 years old.

What's your go-to Maker skill and/or tool?

Laser cutter because of the speed and versatility to do art (engraving) and structure (vector cutting). Arduino because it replaces so many hard-to-troubleshoot circuits with a defined low cost architecture.  

What's been your biggest Making challenge?

Becoming proficient in SolidWorks. I'm still working on that. It's like the old joke about "How do you get to Carnegie Hall?" (Practice, practice, practice) 

How would you define 'Maker culture'?

Recognition that stuff you make with your hands is more important than stuff you buy in the store. 

How is Maker culture transforming your campus?

It's too early to tell. There's a big "social entrepreneurship" push as well and I hope the two work together.

How can Making contribute solutions to big problems?

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What are the challenges facing Making in higher education?

The curriculum is already full in most majors. To add serious skill in tool use, something else has to come out. Nobody on the faculty will vote to delete their favorite course from the curriculum

Why do you think Making is an important 21st century skill for students?

We're at the point in tool development where non-engineers can do some serious and worthwhile product design. This will bring ideas to the forefront that were previously ignored because the prototypes look incomplete or amateurish.

What advice would you give to someone who is new to Making?

Get a 3d printer and some modeling software, and start to play.