Having launched in January 2018, the Swarthmore MakerSpace located on the ground floor of Beardsley Hall is a physical and visual nexus for the MakerSpace Ecosystem and the Swarthmore Innovation Collaborative’s work. Staffed by a newly hired Digital & Wood Shop Manager, local artist Jacqueline Yvonne Tull, the space is an open and communal facility with resources for making, including tools for digital, mechanical, and manual fabrication. It is a testing ground for creative innovation, whether a student explores Japanese joinery in a studio course, or a group of students collaborate to build a solar powered speaker, the space generates more inter-disciplinary interaction on campus, particularly between Engineering and Art, but also from such departments as Theater, Computer Science, Biology, and Physics. In addition to curricular uses, we experience significant interest from individual students, faculty projects and community partnerships working on projects, as well as in attending regular workshops and training opportunities that are offered in the space.
The Makerspace has exciting plans to move to Whittier Hall, allowing for an expansion of Digital Fabrication, the procurement of a CNC Router capable of handling 4' x 8' sheets of material, and the inclusion of a metal shop. The location will be closer to Singer Hall, allowing for more collaboration in an already existing partnership between the Makerspace and the Engineering Department's shop.