Printing the Future on the First Floor of Moffitt

March 6, 2017

Moffit Library is a hub of campus energy and ideas, and if the newly renovated upstairs feels like a tech start-up, the new basement feels like Steve Jobs’ garage in the 21st century with the introduction of a student makerspace. As a free-to-use, collaborative, and community-operated space, it serves anyone on the Berkeley campus interested in the cutting-edge technology of 3D printing and fabrication. The project was made possible by the combined support of ETS, Student Affairs IT, and the Student Technology Fund, with administration of the space falling to b.Makerspace, a student-run consortium of various tech clubs and organizations.

Where rows of desks and bookshelves used to be, now three Type A 3D Printers are constantly humming with projects coming to fruition. In addition to the printers, the makerspace hosts lab computers with Fusion 360 and AutoCAD as well as any other tools and models needed for printing. The creations are made out of a plant-based recycled plastic and a small project only takes 10 minutes for the printer to craft. The possibilities are endless and the sky truly is the limit for what the printers can whip up. Students can now print similar “drafts” of a piece needed for a project in plastic before fully committing to a final product. Furthermore, in addition the 3D printers, students can participate in a brand-new lending program to check out electronics such as an Arduino kit or a Raspberry Pi just like a library book.

Currently, anyone who has attended an Intro to 3D Printing workshop at Moffitt or has a Maker Pass granted by the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation can create models and access the materials in the makerspace. The Intro to 3D Printing workshop at the Moffitt MakerSpace will be on March 6th and April 17th, 2017 from 5pm to 6pm. The space is open and free to use as long as the 1st and 3rd floors of Moffitt are open and other workshops and events are being developed and will be posted on our website.

In the past, students would hit the Moffitt basement to hunker down and finish a problem set or catch up on reading. However, these days, you’re more likely to see them building models of pyramids or Pokemon as 3D printing becomes more and more common. The new Moffitt has finally completed its much anticipated facelift, from the top all the way to the bottom. Here at ETS, we can’t wait to see what incredible projects come out of the innovators at b.Makerspace and look forward to supporting students with all of their technology needs.