Imagine if there was a place at university where you could use state of the art rapid prototyping facilities. Well, you don’t have to imagine… because UNSW already has this and it’s available for all students to use pretty much for FREE! Introducing the UNSW Makerspaces!
While studying electrical and biomedical engineering at UNSW, I have a passion for making and absolutely love designing and 3D printing all sorts of useful gadgets. Hence, the makerspaces proved to be my favourite spot on campus – they are located at the Electrical Engineering building, Willis Annex and Tyree building. I could just sit in them for hours on end, designing and creating my own projects. There are laser cutters, CNC machines, 3D printers and countless more tools. If you do not know how to use a machine, there is a great community of staff who are more than happy to help you out. In addition, there are many inductions where any student can sign up for specialised training on safely operating a particular tool.
My favourite machine are the 3D printers - they are a great tool for making functional projects. My past projects include phone cable holders, smart watch charger bases, pen holders, and even parts for my custom racing quadcopter. The quadcopter is perhaps my favourite projects that I have built at university. It has been great experience learning how to make one, but more importantly I met many of my friends in higher years.
I am also interested in design and love working on projects with intricate design elements. Laser cutters are great for making intricate patterns on a range of materials from acrylic to metal. Something I have recently gotten into is laser cutting cardboard. The patterns that can be produced look absolutely stunning and your mind is the limit to what you can create. Be sure to check out the pictures below for some of the projects I have made. Hopefully they inspire you to start making!
The makerspaces have been great for building my own projects, but also the skills that I developed helped with my academic courses such as ENGG1000. ENGG1000 projects that required mechanical and electrical components usually involve some degree of soldering, circuit, and mechanical design. It was in the Makerspaces where I learnt skills such as soldering and rapid prototyping and it proved very beneficial.
Even if you are completely new to making and using workshop tools, I would still strongly encourage you to get involved with the makerspaces. There are so many great opportunities at UNSW just waiting for you to take advantage of them.
Get your Makerspace Induction Badge done to get access to all the spaces!