May 27, 2022

CGA, VIMS & Makerspaces at WRL

This past weekend was a great one if you like GIS, drones & books. The Center for Geospatial Analysis, the Virginia Institute for Marine Sciences, and the Makerspaces at William & Mary were at drone day at the Williamsburg Regional Library in Toana. It was a great day to engage with interested peoples of all ages, demonstrate larger scale UAVs such as those used in mapping coastline changes at VIMS, and get younger kids’ hands-on with small drones flying them through an obstacle course. If this sounds like fun, stay tuned for upcoming events with the CGA, VIMS, and the Makerspaces.

Building buildings

A throwback photo from a year ago, here a student used 3D printers and laser cutters to produce his vision for a class project in architectural design.

Maker-made

One particularly creative maker just shared the creation she’s been working on, 3D printed nails! This designer created 3D models for the nails and mapped them onto her scanned finger models. To highlight the maker-made community here at William & Mary, she is also accessorizing with a number of pieces from other community makers. Make sure to check out her work in more detail upcoming in the Flat Hat.

UAV Sessions

If you happened to walk by the Makerspace Center in Small Hall yesterday or today you may have heard all sorts of crazy beeps, blips & bleeps. It wasn’t because we were watching Spaceballs, a classic, it was because we were setting up our fleet of UAVs and learning to program autonomous flight for UAV Flight Club day.

Beeps, Blips & Bleeps of the UAV Fleet

If you’d like to learn to fly, program autonomous flight, or build custom UAVs come join us as we explore everything around modern unmanned aerial systems. Maybe even consider getting your FAA part 107 commercial license?

Open to everyone; we meet every Friday morning at the Martin Family Stadium for flights if the weather permits (no precipitation, temp > freezing), or in the Small Hall Makerspaces Center if we have inclement weather.

UAV FlightClub 1st Day Setup

Did you know MSEs can help with tutoring?

Don’t be afraid to ask MSEs for help with school work! Our MSEs study a range of fields including Physics, Chemistry, Geology, Computer Science, and even Studio Art. Working together to solve problems is what the Makserspace is all about and helps contribute to our collaborative workspace.

CNC Machining Fridays!

We’re back at it again! Every Friday from 3-5pm come join us in the Makerspace Engineering Center in Small Hall to learn, practice, and talk about milling, routing, and lathes!

Relocated Sewing Station for Summer ’21

We’ve relocated the sewing equipment that was stashed in the Swem Makerspace to the Small Hall Makerspace Engineering Center for the summer. Come on over and lets make something! 😀

Come on in!

Rain or shine, pandemic or not, the Makerspaces at William & Mary are open and ready to help support you on your journey to create that next project, assignment, or personal learning adventure. Although we’re slightly more limited due to spacing and social distancing requirements, there’s still a whole lot going on around campus. In the past week we’ve had Tribe members come in to learn how to operate a LASER processing system, a CNC embroidery system, CNC lathe, and much more! We’re excited and here to help, so come on in.

Open Source Syringe Bot

The Makerspaces at William & Mary have many projects underway, one of the more interesting is the creation of an open source syringe bot design that is ultra-low cost and high resolution. The concept is that there are so many instances when we need a simple robot to move around a syringe and squirt some goop for us; either to 3D print from viscous fluids and epoxies or to perform automatic titration and chemistry a robot can be useful. If we can make one that is ultra-low cost, as in a couple hundred bucks at most, and yet can maintain micrometer level positioning accuracies and micro (or even nano) liter level dispensation volumes, that robot could be truly useful!

Introducing syringeBot v0.1.

This is the basic head for the open source, 3D printable, syringe bot that we’ve completed, tested, and deployed. Here you can see it in action as used by Doctoral Candidate Stapel as it is being used to 3D print diatom-filled biogel structures:

Stapel & Advisor Dr. Hannes Schniepp continue to move forward with their cutting edge research into the 3D printing of biological structures, having now built this new expanded bioreactor to generate custom materials.

We will keep pushing forward with working on and improving ultra-low cost, high resolution, syringe bot design.


This version (0.1v) was designed and produced from scratch by Aidan Connor (Computer Science, ’21) and the Director of the Makerspaces. If you would like to become part of the open source design effort please contact the director at jfrey@wm.edu.