The Facility Is Creating A Sustainable Makerspace Model To Aid Student Job Potential

According to the Credit reporting site WalletHub, Washington State’s economy ranked No. 1 in the nation, driven by strong gross domestic product growth, exports, and the percentage of high-tech jobs. Those high tech jobs include careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).  Of course, that would mean that advanced science fields, such as materials science and additive manufacturing rank high, as well.

Student education and workforce training programs contribute to that job growth and overall career opportunities. So, it comes as no surprise that Edmonds Community College enthusiastically supported the idea of creating a makerspace for students and the community. The makerspace is called The Facility and is housed in Monroe Hall, which is already a well-equipped materials science lab.

The Facility is different than many college makerspaces, however, because it is a hybrid model that allows student use and also invites the community, residents who are not students, to come and use the space at low cost. As you will hear in this short video, David Voetmann, Makerspace Program Manager of The Facility, explains how the process works for joining and participating in the space.

What is a Makerspace?

Briefly, a makerspace is like a woodshop or metal shop or automotive class that many area residents would remember. A place, as Voetmann says, to share tools and innovation. Except instead of only power saws or welders or impact wrenches, you would have 3D printers, laser cutters, or 5-axis CNC machines – computer-controlled milling machines that cut on multiple angles. In addition, Monroe Hall is unique in that it is home to equipment that can make something out of carbon fiber (materials science) via vacuum bagging and an autoclave, not your usual makerspace gear.

You can check out other TEAMM videos or look at the Materials Education channel on YouTube.

Resources for Starting Your Own Makerspace

Since two of the most popular machines in a makerspace are 3D printers and laser cutters (or laser engravers), it is logical that companies that provide those tools would have good resources.

3D printer manufacturer, Ultimaker, has a number of posts, books, and resources for school teachers, administrators, librarians (public and school), who might be interested to build a makerspace. One is called the Makerspace Bookshelf and the other helpful post is Fablab, makerspace, or hackerspace? –that highlights how to decide which one is right for your situation.

LulzBot, one of the dominant 3D printer brands in education, has a case study on the Loveland CreatorSpace: Come for the Tools, Stay for the People.

FormLabs, a resin-based 3D printer company, published Incentives and Ingredients for Building a Makerspacethat is instructive.

If you have been contemplating a laser cutter, and a variety of other equipment, Epilog Laser, based in Colorado, offers a number of posts and a downloadable guide for lasers in education to help you determine what you need as well as steps to take to get your space up and running. This post (though it presents a slight bias given what they sell) Why Will a Laser be the Most Popular Tool in My Makerspace? presents four reasons why a laser will be a hit in your makerspace, hackerspace, or fab lab.

Laura Fleming, an educator and media specialist, has written two excellent, best-selling books (also mentioned on the Ultimaker site). You can find both of them on her website: Worlds of Making. Both of them are about creating a makerspace in your school. They are also available on Amazon. She offers a steady stream of ideas and maker tips on her Twitter account – @LFlemingEDU.

The study mentioned earlier in the post: WalletHub study: 2018’s Best & Worst State Economies. This article on the Edmonds Community College website gives additional details of how the school intends to use the makerspace: The Facility and the Rapid Proto Lab at Edmonds Community College.

For more information visit The Facility website or email david.voetmann@edcc.edu.

A Day In The Life Of Virtual Reality Workshop Participants

On day one of the 2018 Virtual Reality (VR) Workshop held in Monroe Hall at Edmonds Community College, it was all “real” and “virtual” at the same time. Educators, 14 of them in total, came from as far away as Southern California to learn how to use VR in their classrooms to teach digital manufacturing.

The workshop is the brainchild of Dr. Magesh Chandramouli who started the MANEUVER (Manufacturing Education Using Virtual Environment Resources) project, based at Purdue University. It is focused on developing an affordable VR framework to address the demand for well-trained digital manufacturing (DM) technicians.

The two-day workshop was hosted by the TEAMM project and started out with sessions dedicated to manufacturing and a tour of Monroe Hall (which has served as the home to multiple National Science Foundation grant-funded projects including the National Resource Center for Materials Education – MatEdU).

This amazing building is the 11,000 square foot home for almost $2,000,000 of machines and tools offering a variety you won’t find on very many college campuses. It is also where The Facility, a new type of makerspace exists – that fuses college access and community access.

Here’s more of what took place on day one and day two of the VR Workshop:

  • Demos of Traditional and Digital Technologies
  • Introduction to Virtual Reality
  • Types and Uses (Google Cardboard Build)
  • Terminology
  • Opportunities (Advantages/Disadvantages)
  • Current technology and expected development (HoloLens practice)
  • Unpack and set-up VR equipment (using the Dell Visor)
  • MANEUVER website (We are creating a resource post that we believe you will find useful, stay tuned)
  • Design Opportunities in Virtual Reality
  • Case Studies: VR in a Classroom
  • How is it being used
  • What are the challenges / rewards

On day two, participants focused on a group project planning incorporation of VR into an actual lesson.

Here are photos from the event:

Additional resources:

From their website: “Project MANEUVER (Manufacturing Education Using Virtual Environment Resources) is developing an affordable virtual reality (VR) framework to address the imminent demand for well-trained digital manufacturing (DM) technicians. Over half of the 3.5 million required manufacturing positions in the US are expected to go unfilled due to a “skills gap”. Employment projections show a decline in conventional manufacturing jobs with marked growth in DM jobs.

“This VR instructional framework, targeted at two and four year programs, will not only advance the field of DM, but will also strengthen education by remedying the lack of clearly defined career/educational pathway(s) for entry-level DM technicians.”

AM News originally reported on this workshop: Virtual Reality Workshop For Digital Manufacturing Education.

Virtual Reality Workshop For Digital Manufacturing Education

The TEAMM project is hosting a two-day workshop on using virtual reality technology as a classroom tool. It will be hosted at Edmonds Community College on August 22 and 23 at Monroe Hall.

The 2-day workshop is sponsored by Manufacturing Education Using Virtual Environment Resources (MANEUVER), an NSF project, and will be covering VR-based digital manufacturing (DM) instruction modules.

This workshop is directed towards community college instructors and high-school teachers interested in digital manufacturing instruction using virtual reality tools and techniques. There is no fee to register; Washington State Clock Hours are available; and seating is limited.

  • If you are interested to attend at Edmonds Community College, please contact Robin Ballard for the August 22-23 workshop in Washington. Here is the EventBrite invite page.
  • If you are interested in the Purdue University workshop for July 17 – 18, contact Magesh Chandramouli.
  • For the Tennessee Tech University (TTU) workshop on July 28 – 29, contact Ismail Fidan.

To learn more about how manufacturing and VR are coming together, here is a brief abstract (from the NSF grant page) of the work that Magesh Chandramouli is doing:

Project MANEUVER (Manufacturing Education Using Virtual Environment Resources) is developing an affordable virtual reality (VR) framework to address the imminent demand for well-trained digital manufacturing (DM) technicians. Over half of the 3.5 million required manufacturing positions in the US are expected to go unfilled due to a “skills gap”. Employment projections show a decline in conventional manufacturing jobs with marked growth in DM jobs. This VR instructional framework, targeted at two and four year programs, will not only advance the field of DM, but will also strengthen education by remedying the lack of clearly defined career/educational pathway(s) for entry-level DM technicians.

MANEUVER is developing an innovative multi-modal VR framework for DM instruction. This framework decouples the 3D DM database from functionalities, thus giving the instructional designer access through immersive, augmented, and desktop VR. Instead of pairing functionalities with the VR database, which prevents access by other modes, the decoupled approach allows for mode-independent approach, facilitating affordable access and broader implementation. The resultant curricular modules can be replicated for use on multiple machines without additional costs. During manufacturing process training, VR tools serve as a viable alternative offering a cost and material-efficient solution. Industry standard software and hardware is being used to develop and deliver advanced DM exercises for instructional and training purposes. Using a “train-the-trainers” approach, a replicable faculty development model is being developed for secondary and post-secondary institutions. By addressing regional and national entry-level workforce needs, the project benefits society and contributes to national economic progress and prosperity.

You can also read how The Facility is a partner of Purdue’s work: “VR Lab at The FACILITY Makerspace at Edmonds Community College.”

VR Lab at The FACILITY Makerspace at Edmonds Community College

 

Somerset Community College Offers 3D Printing Technician Certificate

In February, Tennessee Tech University (TTU) College of Engineering announced its Golden Eagle Additively Innovative Lecture Series, an online webinar event that reaches people around the world. The third lecture focuses on a relatively new 3D printing technician certificate offered at Somerset Community College (SCC).

The formal title of the third lecture in the series is “AM Research and Applications for Real World Production and Impact” with Eric N. Wooldridge, PE, RA, Professor of Additive Manufacturing, Workforce Development, and Pre-Engineering at SCC, Kentucky.

All across the USA, industry is increasingly interested in training for 3D printing. Not many schools offer a degree in 3D printing (yet), two or four year, and fewer have specialized certificates for those interested in the field. From automotive to aerospace, biomedical to home improvement to Hollywood special effects, additive manufacturing training is forecasted for growth.

Somerset Community College (SCC) is the first institution of higher education in Kentucky to offer a statewide certificate in additive manufacturing. In fact, it is one of the few in the nation and comes up early in a Google search for a related search, such as, “3D printing technician certificate schools colleges.”

Professor Wooldridge explains:

The move to go “certificate” is because industry is asking for students with skills as fast as possible whether referring to additive or welding, it wants technicians that can produce and can produce now. Additive manufacturing is still hardly known and relatively misunderstood, so we created the one-year certificate to allow various Somerset degree programs to add these skills into their Associates degree path and help to integrate additive within the company along with their primary job.  We wanted to create an additive “foothold” situation within our state so that existing manufacturers will have someone on the inside that can help them transition faster to the technology instead of lagging behind the curve of their competitors.

We also created a demonstration process to entice industry leaders to consider additive within their own operations.  We call it the “Netflix deal” where a company can come to us to try an idea with 3D printing – we’ll will take out all the risk of equipment cost, and the need for expertise, etc., produce a demonstration example for them relative to their operations (sort of like a Netflix trial that hooks you into the service).

After the experience, most will immediately want to do this on their own – so they send us employees for training – in some cases just one employee, in others we have trained 7 people for 16 hours of one-on-one training, or more accurately, re-training. Local employers have been very interested, supportive, and tapping into this new educational technology opportunity.  Over time, the goal is for graduating students to get hired at these same types of companies. 

But in either approach we are steadily making progress in integrating practical 3D printing applications into our region and our entire state.  So that we will have a workforce well suited for implementing cutting edge manufacturing innovations, as well as creating an ideal economic investment opportunity for tier one companies.

You can find a host of resources on the SCC web page here on the “Research and Grant Materials” folder (marked with the red arrow via the link/image above). Professor Wooldridge has a variety of terrific case studies, videos, materials testing projects and photos, as well as some program brochures. All of this is in a shared cloud storage drive.

Here are some of the courses required for the 3D Printing Technician-Level 1 Certificate (Total: 16 to 18 credit hours):

  • DPT 100 Introduction to 3D Printing Technology
  • DPT 102 3D Printing Technology Fundamentals
  • BAS 160 Introduction to Business
  • BAS 170 Entrepreneurship
  • DPT 150 Introduction to Engineering Mechanics for 3D Printing
  • DPT 280 Special Projects for 3D Printing, Level 1
  • A related technical elective
  • A related technical elective

University of Louisville Offers Additive Manufacturing Safety Training

The University of Louisville is an active member of the TEAMM Network and recently announced they have added an Additive Manufacturing (AM) Safety Workshop, conducted through their Rapid Prototyping Center, run by Ed Tackett, Director of Educational Programs in AM.

The new program is called the “AM Metals Safety Training Workshop” and is an advanced training for AM professionals. It is a one-day session (8 contact hours) held at the Additive Manufacturing Competency Center (AMCC).

The AMCC is a fully equipped learning laboratory that includes the latest AM technologies, machining, metrology and powder handling systems. Metals additive manufacturing requires an increased environmental health and safety effort. This new workshop is designed to help new users identify hazards, reference appropriate regulations and develop a mitigation strategy. Learn more about the AM Metals Safety workshop.

This workshop is designed to benefit supervisors, lead workers, managers, employers, and anyone responsible for the safety and health of employees and labs. The workshop covers various types of standard machinery, machine safeguards, and related regulations and procedures for metals additive manufacturing.

In an Additive Manufacturing magazine post by Christina M. Fuges, there is a good interview on safety with Ed Tackett. He shares a story about companies not realizing they have major safety risks with AM:

There’s recognition of the need to be safe, but the real question is what does it take? AMCC seeks to ensure students know the risks specific to AM and how to mitigate those risks. Believe it or not, companies are not being safe. We had a group come in for training, and after the initial day’s safety lecture, they immediately called their company to shut down the AM lab. They had no idea some of these dangers existed.

The AM Metals Safety Training Workshop was created to help reduce these risks and get new and experienced technicians up to speed on the safety needs with advanced metals 3D printing.  TEAMM is a strong proponent for materials/workplace safety and believes this class is a trendsetter in AM lab standards.  As new materials are developed and 3D printers are increasingly capable of utilizing multiple materials, it is imperative that technicians understand these materials’ properties both individually and as they are combined during the AM process. Learn more about the AM Metals Safety workshop.

Student Learning Outcomes

By the end of this training workshop, students will be able to:

identify safety issues for a metals additive manufacturing facility.

  • interpret the various safety regulations and apply that knowledge to their specific situation
  • formulate a site specific safety plan

Workshop topics include:

Personal Protection

  • Job Hazard Analysis
  • General PPE
  • Hazard Specific PPE
  • Gloves
  • Protective Suits
  • Respirators
  • Flame resistant PPE
  • ESD Considerations

Facility Safety

  • Powder Descriptions
  • Powder Storage
  • Waste Storage
  • Electrostatic Safety
  • Inert Gas Monitoring
  • Laser Safety
  • Downdraft Tables
  • Fire Suppression
  • Industrial Hygiene

Operational Safety

  • Wet separator vacuum maintenance
  • Increased Hazard Events
  • Hydrogen production
  • Filter Changes

Current Regulations (Discussion)

  • OSHA
  • NFPA
  • EPA

SAMPLE standard operating procedures (SOP’s)

  • General Safety Concepts for Additive Manufacturing
  • Storage of Metal Powder
  • Handling of Metal Powder
  • Cleanup of Spilled Metal Powder
  • Disposal of Metal Waste Powder
  • Emergency Response for Fire Involving Metal Powder
  • Use, Storage, and Care of PPE
  • Use and Handling of Compressed Gas

Worth mentioning, under the banner of educating  technicians and instructors, UofL also conducted one of the AM-WATCH teacher training workshops that AM News reported on: TEAMM Network Member Creates Additive Manufacturing Studio. You can check out the UofL event details here from their December 2017 workshop.

TEAMM appreciates UofL taking the lead on safety topics in AM technician level education. This work is part of a larger project funded by the Advanced Technological Education Program of the National Science Foundation, DUE #1501251