The Alley Makerspace opens its doors to students next week Tuesday, Jan. 16, welcoming both returning and new students. Their hours, as posted on their website, are 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday in the MUB Basement B002. They provide access to various tools and machining equipment at no cost to students, as well as faculty and staff members. Their services support processes such as 3D printing, woodworking, electrical work, and more. They also provide coaching for those that need it, with a required training before any power tools can be used. This is to ensure safety in the space.
According to one of their Student Operations Managers, Jack Philp, “Our makerspace aims to foster creativity and involvement in the STEM field within our community.” As a part of this, the Alley has previously hosted various creative engineering workshops, which the staff refer to as “makenights.” They have hosted workshops such as crafting wooden mugs, assembling a model of the Portage Canal Lift Bridge, building mini toy catapults, and many others. Some of these are displayed on their website in the form of posters. In the future they plan to do more, as well as expanding their 3D printing capacity. Jack also mentioned being open to suggestions for future makenights, stating, “We are always looking for new ideas to get people interested. If anyone has any ideas they want to submit, please email us or check out our website.”
As the name suggests, The Alley is set up where the old bowling alley in the MUB used to be. Opening its doors in the fall of 2016, the makerspace set up shop and took on some of the themes of the location’s previous life as a bowling alley. Additional information can be found on the Alley website, at https://www.makerspace.mtu.edu/