April 14, 2024

AY 23-24, here we go!

We hope you all had a great summer! We sure did. Between winning 3rd place in the unmanned division of the Society of Naval Engineers’ electric propulsion competition, successfully sending students to Madagascar to deploy low cost water sensors in the field, working on an in-flight autonomous air sampling payload for UAVs, adding in a component to the engineering design course around building ‘smart devices’ and tackling some advanced materials science research; we’ve been super busy ourselves. That said, we are super excited for the semester to begin on Wednesday!

The Makerspaces at William & Mary will open for all on Wednesday, August 30th, alongside the start of classes. Please check the calendar for hours & upcoming events and stay tuned for new developments.

As for tool changes & modifications; all systems are up and running including the 3 lasers, 20 printers, CNC router, mill & lathe, sewing and much more. Added to this, we are currently facilitizing a 4’x3′ CNC plasma cutter for use and have fine tuned some procedures around the fiber based laser engraver.

Most importantly; WE ARE HIRING! If you’re interested please apply ASAP through the “About” tab on this page.

Alright, time to build things and in so doing, build ourselves. Time for the 23-24 academic year to begin! WOOHOO!

First year entry & 3rd place finisher in the unmanned division of SNE's electric propulsion competition.

First year entry & 3rd place finisher in the unmanned division of Society of Naval Engineers’ electric propulsion competition.

On the water

Woohoo! Go TRIBE!

Some super advanced material science research underway in an Engineering, Physics & Applied Design Lab in the basement of Small Hall. (Yes, that is our VPR at left, still hands-on in some world class research!)

In Madagascar, 2 students from William & Mary (left), and their partner from Antanarivo, on a remote chat about technology.

Air sampling payload for autonomous UAV data collection.

Working on a new course module for students to gain intuition about data in ‘Smart’ devices in APSC251 Intro to Engineering Design.

Testing the engraving capability on one of the LASERs in the Makerspaces at William & Mary

CGA Speaker Series

This Friday | CGA Speaker Series | Kayla Flamm, GIS Specialist | March 31st, 1pmThe CGA Speaker Series continues with a talk from Missouri Botanical Garden’s GIS Specialist, Kayla Flamm! Kayla has over 8 years of experience in applying geospatial technology to support the Missouri Botanical Garden’s work in managing an extensive living plant collection and conducting field work in support of conservation horticulture. She has a B.A. in Geography with an emphasis in biogeography and GIS from the University of Missouri. Join us for Kayla’s talk: Supporting a Botanical Garden from the Sky: A Drone’s Eye View of Plant Conservation on Friday, March 31st  at 1:00 PM via Zoom.

On to Spring Break

The spring semester has moved so quickly and it’s almost spring break! There has been a lot of activities going on in the Makerspaces at WIlliam & Mary ranging from sewing corsets to building an autonomous race boat. As we approach spring break there are two items we want to highlight:
1. We will be closed during spring break.
2. The 3D scanning studio is now setup and operational behind the Swem Library makerspace location! Ask an MSE for details.

We hope everyone has a safe and restful break, and we’ll see you for some more awesome in the second half of the semester!

The 3D scanning studio is now open behind the Swem Library makerspace location.
An engineering, physics & applied design (Physics, EPAD) capstone group prepares the mold for making fiberglass catamaran pontoons for their autonomous race boat.
A student polishes a handmade ring in the Makerspace.
Student built FPV sUAS kit constructed during one of our Makerspace user group sessions.

Semester End

It has been quite the semester here in The Makerspaces. If you’ve been around, you’ve seen countless things get created, from the recent architectural adventures to working on concepts in autonomous boats, classwork involving 3D printed water pumps, custom solutions for research tools like the X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy system at the Applied Research Center, working on setting up a 3D scanning lab, and hosting a sUAS pilot to discuss her roles at NASA.

There’s never a dull moment around here. As we head into the winter break you’ll still see some Makerspaces activity on campus, however, it is likely to be focused on maintenance & repair as well as gearing up for the spring semester.

After December 9th, feel free to stop by to make something by appointment only and with limited staff, additionally, stay tuned for the spring semester opening of our 3D scanning lab located adjacent-behind The Makerspaces at Swem Library wherein we’ll have multiple 3D scanning options for both small and large scales.

Good luck on Finals and we hope you have a wonderful holiday season and winter break! See you in the spring!

Welcoming the ’22-’23 academic year!

Welcome back everyone! While you were away, or hadn’t yet been here, we had quite a busy summer. Between fixing equipment, setting up new stuff, helping out with the School of Educations’ Camp Launch, or aiding in the construction of new UAV payloads for environmental sensing; the Makerspaces have been quite active. That said, we are over-the-moon excited to see all of the new faces rolling into Williamsburg ready for a great year!

The Makerspaces will officially open Wednesday, August 31st, alongside the start of classes. However, as we’re almost entirely run by (the best, most awesome-est) students; it will take a few days to get our scheduling setup and posted online.

If you’re new to using the Makerspaces, here’s the basic synopsis: Log into our ticketing system (see the ‘Make an Appt.’ tab above) and request training or usage and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. Don’t worry about whether you know how to use something, we’re here to help.

Welcome back, now let’s get to work.

Setting up the environmental testing UAV on the docks at the Chickahominy Boathouse, Summer ’22
A near crash while flying in autonomous mapping mode with the environmental sampling UAV.
9th Grade students in Camp Launch participated in a classic engineering challenge. Using LASER cutting systems to produce the parts themselves; they designed and constructed bridges that held over 100lbs using just 3mm acrylic (plastic)!

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