New Creative Hub Gives MDC Students an Edge Even if you’re not familiar with the tools, sights and sounds of the new Makers Lab at MDC, Wolfson Campus, anyone will tell you this isn’t your typical lab. At the Lab’s launch this fall, 3-D extruder printers whirred in the background as students pieced together the anatomy of a paper fly crafted in sharp detail on a Boss laser cutter. Activating Innovation “The Lab facilitates anything you want to create,” said MDC Honors College student Alban Allajbegu, who made fingers for a robot using 3-D printers. “These are the types of machines I saw at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and they are available to all innovators at MDC.” In addition to 3-D printers and laser cutters, students have access to industry-standard CNC lathes and routers, a bandsaw, a metal lathe and a mill, which allows them to take an idea from concept to prototype with ease. Gaining the experience and skill of operating these machines alone boosts students’ employability, but more importantly, it builds confidence in their ideas and lets them test solutions in real life. To enable faculty of all disciplines to integrate making things into their curricula, over the summer, the lab teamed up with the Autodesk Design Academy to provide training in Fusion 360, the 3-D design software that speaks to the lab’s various machines. Students are now learning the software – quickly and eagerly. Where Minds Meet “The Makers Lab is a multidisciplinary hub of activity,” said Makers Lab Manager Ralph Provisero. “What students in creative programs are doing looks interesting to students of other disciplines, and vice-versa. At its best, the lab leads to collaboration and helps students tackle problems from different angles, leading to even better ideas.” Alongside MDC culinary and engineering students, Allajbegu is now working on a vertical farm project using CNC design for testing. “That’s what we really like to see,” said Provisero. “This cross-pollination of ideas.”
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