Makerspace Consulting

Along with developing projects I have become involved in makerspace entrepreneurship and consulting. My experience is primarily with small start up operations attached to universities or libraries. Some details of projects are provided in this section. If you are interested in my input on your makerspace project feel free to contact me at bill@robot50.net orbillball@capital.edu.

Completed Projects

Innovation House / Innovation Lab, Stetson University

Volusia County Libraries

UCF Business Incubator Daytona Beach


Innovation House / Innovation Lab, Stetson University

This makerspace started very modestly–I brought in my kit built 3D printer in late 2012 and demonstrated it for students and let them have at it. After discovering a huge interest among students, I began to search for a means to create and finance a space on campus. Several months were required to secure permission to use as abandoned geology lab/carriage house and some start up funding from an entrepreneurship fund. After a lot of clean up and acquisition of tools and supplies, Innovation House opened in 2013. I operated the space for about two years, offering mentoring, workshops and class tours.

Stetson’s Library dean saw the appeal of this operation early on and began introducing 3D printing into the library’s technology offerings in a parallel program. She was ultimately able to secure the space and funding to set aside about 1000 square feet in the library to incorporate the Innovation House equipment along with her growing supply of 3D printers. In the fall of 2015 the merged operation, known as Innovation Lab, opened, and has subsequently made the transition to library management. I continue to provide mentoring to students and have begun to offer a credit-bearing course on rapid prototyping using the facility. More detail on Innovation Lab can be found on the library web site.


 

Volusia County Libraries

The county library system was awarded an in-kind grant of Cube 3D printers in 2015. These printers were designated to circulate among the library’s 6 branches to gauge public interest in using them and the staff’s ability to support them

I was invited by the Deltona branch and the DeLand branch to provide workshops for their patrons while each branch was hosting the printers for a month. In both cases I gave a workshop on 3D printing in general and one on using Tinkercad to create 3D designs for printing. All four workshops were well attended, showing that interest in 3D printing is not limited to students and young people.

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UCF Business Incubator Daytona Beach

This is a traditional small business incubator operation and one of several in the region operated by the University of Central Florida. I was initially contacted to consult on a grant proposal that included funds for a makerspace. Although the grant proposal was unsuccessful, I continued in a consulting role, defining a more limited operation that could be initiated with available space and internal funding. This makerspace opened in January, 2015.

The makerspace at the business incubator is designed to serve two functions: it is a place where the incubator’s clients in residence can develop their own prototypes and skills; and it is also the home base for outreach efforts, including a short course on rapid prototyping that I teach.

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bill@robot50.net