PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Building satellites that get blasted into orbit. Welding the weight-bearing frame of Formula 1-style race cars. Crafting wooden chairs. Laser cutting details onto an Iron Man helmet. The Brown Design Workshop is the place where students and community members can not only push the boundaries of what they dream, but of what they can create.
Located inside Brown University’s School of Engineering’s Prince Laboratory, the workshop is a 10,000-square-foot makerspace equipped with an array of tools and machines, including woodworking tools, laser cutters, sewing machines, soldering irons, 3D printers and more.
Founded in 2013, the space is staffed by students who often host workshops to help get new members acclimated and certified on all the tools. The space is open to everyone — not just engineers — so students pursuing any concentration are welcome to use the workshop alongside staff, faculty and local community members.
In fact, it’s something the space’s new director Louise Manfredi plans to expand on.
“Machine shops and workshops can be intimidating if it’s not a space that you’ve had experience with before,” said Manfredi, an associate professor of the practice of engineering, who became director in July. “We want to work with the managers and the monitors to see how we can make the space feel even less intimidating [and] more encouraging and inviting.”
As Manfredi begins her tenure, she sees the workshop’s potential to improve the use of resources, processes and materials to minimize the impact on climate change and build partnerships with environmentally and ethically sound suppliers.
“I also hope to encourage students to come to the BDW and experiment with making new materials like bioplastics or composites using food waste or waste from the BDW,” Manfredi said. “As a community of makers, we can explore ways to try and reduce our footprint together.”
As the space continues to evolve and grow, this video captures what to expect in the Brown Design Workshop and highlights this go-to place for “makers” on Brown’s campus. Read the original story here published by Alumni & Friends.