The Eagle MakerSpace is a place for students to work on their projects without academic attachment. (Photo: Embry-Riddle/Connor McShane) The Eagle MakerSpace is a place for students to work on their projects without academic attachment. (Photo: Embry-Riddle/Connor McShane)
The Eagle MakerSpace is a place for students to work on their projects without academic attachment. (Photo: Embry-Riddle/Connor McShane)

Eagle MakerSpace
A Creative Space for Student Innovations

Story by Alison Whitney
Alison Whitney

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The MakerSpace Club gives students on the Prescott Campus a place to design, test and create almost anything they can dream of.

Eagle MakerSpace Origins

In 2014 on the Prescott Campus, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering Dennis Kodimer formed what we now know as the Eagle MakerSpace Club, located in Building 53 in the heart of campus.

“During my undergraduate time at CalTech, we had a basement in the student union in which we collected cast-off equipment from the labs around campus. With that lab and without a budget, we could create whatever magical devices or fundamental repairs we wanted,” Professor Kodimer said. “Thus, that basement – which had no name – was a lab to create electronics, mechanics, artwork, car repair, computers – anything students wanted to create without faculty oversight.”

With the help of the College of Engineering, Student Government Association and other groups, MakerSpace was founded as a space where students can create, tinker and innovate without academic involvement.

One of the most important pillars of MakerSpace Club is safety. All students who wish to participate in the club must complete various levels of safety training before they can use the machinery in the workshop. With a $10 semesterly fee and an honor system of cleanliness and replacing materials, the club has thrived and grown to a membership of about 80 students.

How the Prescott MakerSpace Impacts Students

Aby Jonovich (’27) first learned about MakerSpace when she came to visit the Prescott Campus for Preview Day. She saw the 3D printers – something she had always wanted to use – and she was sold. Now, she spends time in the workshop almost every day.

Aby’s favorite thing to do in the MakerSpace lab is make 3D-printed creations like whistles. She’s studying Mechanical Engineering on the Propulsion track, and access to the 3D printers has enhanced her understanding of 3D modeling and computer-aided design (CAD), which she’s learning in class.

Emmett Decker (’28) also learned about MakerSpace on Preview Day, and it played a huge role in his college decision. He’s earning his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, a subject he’s been interested in since middle school.

“I came here for Preview Day when I was a senior in high school,” he said. “And the thing that made me choose Embry-Riddle as my university was MakerSpace.”

Emmett mainly utilizes the MakerSpace workshop for building electronic devices and 3D-printing casings for those devices – such as a chronometer, an ultra-accurate clock that can have sustained battery life and accuracy for over 60 years.

“It enhances [my college experience] big time,” he said. “Some people like playing video games or sports, but what calms me is manufacturing electronic devices that actually work and seeing the end product function the way I engineered it to. It’s like you’re giving a device a soul.”

Emmett believes MakerSpace is a great place to find sanctuary. He spends about 7 to 10 hours a week in the MakerSpace, either working on projects or monitoring the space for safety.

“The coolest thing is that you have the freedom to design and build whatever you want using machines there in MakerSpace,” Emmett said.

A Place for All in the MakerSpace

The possibilities are endless in the MakerSpace lab. Students have crafted everything from wooden furniture and radio-controlled aircraft to artwork, clothing and amateur rockets.

“With that honor principle in place, and thanks to the effort of a revolving cast of officers and members, we have operated for over a decade and accumulated machinery, from lathe to sewing machine to electronics to RP printers,” said Professor Kodimer.

"I envision Eagle MakerSpace will continue as an amenity for Eagles to realize their creativity."

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