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Setting up a Maker Room Answered

Hello Makers, Teachers and Students - I have the opportunity to set up a Maker Room at my school. I was hoping to get some advice from the Instructables community on best practices. What equipment is most useful? What is the best use of space? Where should I start? Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated! 

The photo is my "before" picture. I hope to have a great "after" picture when I am done.

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I ran across this document about starting makerspaces in highschools:
http://makerspacedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/makerspace-hs-toolsmaterials.pdf

hope it helps

The prices are of course just an estimate but the laser cutter seems to be a massive chunk of the budget. The list divided by activity type and level. They also mention the amount of students it is for so you might be able to scale it to your needs and get a rough estimate of how much it will cost to set up. Notice however that some costs listed are one-off costs while others are for consumables and will require restocking.

The laser cutter is definitely out of the budget but a lot of the other things are affordable. I guess I have to decide how to best spend limited funds. I am also pretty good at scrounging and borrowing so I'll be relying on that as well.

In no particular order...

Racks and drawers for folk to store their projects and materials.

Soldering irons, hot glue guns, rotary tools.

Clamps and vices.

Hand tools - hand drills, tenon saws, coping saws, files etc.

Hand power tools - drills, sanders, jigsaws

Bench power tools - drill-press, mitre saw, grinder, disc sander, buffer,

At the very minimum, you need a set of clear benches and a welcoming, sharing atmosphere.

First you need a room about that size :-)

Thanks for the list - it is exactly what I was looking for!

What you add to the room in terms of equipment and tools is really dependent on what you think the students will be making and what you think they want to make. Such as, is this a free-for-all type room to be creative? or is there going to be a specific lesson plan that you'll be working with?

I am still working on that part too. My hope is that it can be a completely creative space eventually. I will have to work towards that and start with some specific projects that follow the curriculum in some capacity. Right now, I plan to start with an electricity unit. I can justify a lot of different types of projects under that subject area. I am planning on setting up for that first.

In that case, magnifying lamps will help, soldering irons, solder, flux, a ton of wire, LED's, circuit boards, perhaps Arduino or something similar... Sounds like it'll be a lot of fun for them. I'd imagine that if you stocked the room according to the curriculum and had enough work stations, then you'll be ahead of the game come the fall.

I am working on getting things set up as much as possible before we start up in the fall. Of course, I know everything is an experiment at this point so I have to remain flexible. I have started playing with LEDs and have deconstructed/reconstructed some battery operated toys. The goal is that it is a lot of fun for everyone (including me!)

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lime3D

6 years ago

Lots and lots of electrical outlets, powerstrips, extension cords.

Yeah, I have been thinking about that. I am kind of worried about blowing fuses - any advice about that? The building is pretty old and I have only one wall with outlets on it.

Request to add another breaker or two to the room and have some more outlets added. If you are adding any large tools such as a table saw make sure to have that on a power strip with a breaker and you can prevent blowing a fuse. It is not very costly to have more outlets added to a room though especially in a school because they probably have a junction box in the wall of that room somewhere

Unless you're running big equipment, it is probably fine. If you happen to trip a circuit breaker, then so beit, that's what they are for.

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maassr

6 years ago

Looks great, needs more junk to work with.