While home to many creations, the Brock University Library Makerspace helps support innovation far beyond its walls.
Makerspace projects take place in classrooms and research labs, with people using the institution’s emerging tools and technology.
Brock faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to consult with Makerspace staff on how to enhance personal and course-related projects or research initiatives using Makerspace technology. All equipment can be used in the Makerspace and some tools can be borrowed for extended periods.
Thad Harroun, director of Brock’s physics department, uses the Makerspace 3D printer to develop science kits. A video of his first model is posted on Twitter.
“3D printers are helping to prototype rolling, mobile gadgets that can turn an ordinary cell phone into a mobile physics lab,” he said. “This will be a great outreach project for high school students, and a bit different from the usual engineering activities they may have seen.”
Harroun also borrowed a 360-degree camera and used Makerspace film-editing software to create a virtual tour of the physics department that showcases labs and classrooms in a digital, yet unique way.
Master of Science student Aurora Battis (BSc ’20) used Makerspace’s Cricut machine to create custom adhesives for use in Brock’s Spine Biomechanics and Neuromuscular Control lab.
“We need to affix a variety of different types of body-worn equipment to track human movement,” she said. “The Cricut allows us to customize the shape, size, and adhesive bond strength to meet our needs.”
After successfully cutting out complex shapes, Battis explored other ways to use Cricut, such as cutting out reflective materials to use for motion capture.
Other lab members have used the Makerspace 3D printer to develop life-size anatomical models of spinal bones, which are used in the lab to demonstrate musculoskeletal concepts to people participating in ongoing research studies.
Members of the Brock community interested in using Makerspace equipment can schedule an appointment with Makerspace staff, who will recommend the tools and technology best suited for the project and recommend learning and training opportunities. Teachers can borrow specialized equipment for long periods of time, such as 3D scanners, mobile virtual reality, Sphero programmable robots, GoPros, 360-degree cameras, microphones and other video, photography and audio production equipment .
Available in-person creative lab spaces include audio, video, photo, and prototyping labs; 3D printers and sculptors; laser cutting; stations with specialized software, such as GarageBand, Adobe Creative Cloud Suite and Easel; and stations with specialized equipment, like a sewing machine and Cricut Maker.
To make an appointment to use the creative tools or space, view available times on an online calendar, then complete an online request form.
Additional learning resources, such as self-directed tutorials and an online Makerspace tour, are available on the Brock University Library Makerspace website.
Questions can be emailed to [email protected]