(Updated January 2024)

What is a Makerspace?

A Makerspace is a space built to encourage people to create, experiment, and collaborate. It includes a wide range of digital fabrication, physical computing and analog tools. It is a mix of a classroom and laboratory for ideas.

What is digital fabrication?

Digital Fabrication is the design and work process wherein people create objects through digital means (as opposed to analog means like drawing and cutting by hand). Computer Aided Drawing (CAD) programs such as Tinkercad, or Illustrator and Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Machines like 3D printers, laser cutters, and vinyl cutters are common elements of the digital fabrication process. 

What is physical computing?

Physical computing is the process of building physical, interactive interfaces that respond to the analog world. In its simplest form, it is creating a simple computing device with some sort of input and output.

For more information on each specific machine, please visit our Equipment page.

Who is the BMCC Makerspace for?

All BMCC Students, Faculty, and Staff are welcome (and encouraged) to use the space. 

Do I need any experience before using the Makerspace?

No you do not! You will need to familiarize yourself with some software if you want to design for/use some of the digital fabrication and/or physical computing tools, but we can guide you through the process. 

There are some workshops on our website if you’d like to self-study, or book a reservation with the Lab Manager for one-on-one onboarding. We also run workshops  (both virtual and in-person) throughout the semester on certain topics that you can sign up for (subscribe to our Instagram page to stay updated on upcoming events 

Do I have to be in an Art-Related Major to use the Makerspace?

No – anyone with a desire to learn, explore and create is welcome to use the space. 

Do I have to make anything in the Makerspace?

Not necessarily! You can use the room as a self-study lab if you wish, just know there is the possibility of other people working around and using our equipment (which can be a bit noisy).

Why does the Makerspace schedule change often?

The Makerspace is also a classroom. Depending on the semester, classes may be held in the Makerspace. Likewise we are also a space for holding workshops, and may change the open lab hours to accommodate them.

Why can’t I bring in certain materials?

For your safety, we cannot use materials that we can’t vet. Some materials can be hazardous (due to chemicals or flammability).

For Example: ABS plastic can’t be laser cut because it will emit cyanide, and PVC (pleather and vinyl) emits a chlorine gas when laser cut. So we do not use ABS plastic at all in Makerspace, and vinyl is limited to the vinyl cutter itself. Likewise, ABS  and PET 3D filament needs much more ventilation that we can provide, so we are limited to the PLA provided. 

If you have a specific material in mind for your project, please feel free to contact the Lab Manager with a link to the material before purchasing it so we can approve it beforehand. We can also provide alternatives and further resources. Likewise, we have a list of Materials online as a reference– but when in doubt: ask!

Is food and drink allowed in the Makerspace?

Food is allowed in the Makerspace, provided it is away from the Makerspace’s laptops and other equipment. If using the laptops provided in the Makerspace, please refrain from eating/drinking around them.

Should I wear a mask in the Makerspace?

As per current recommendations, masks aren’t necessary in the Makerspace, but are encouraged.

Can I host a workshop in the Makerspace?

Yes you can! Please contact Anna Pinkas (and CC the Lab Manager) with a summary of your project, what you will need from the Makerspace, and your preferred date and time. We will try to accommodate your needs as best as we can.

Can Alumni use the Makerspace?

Alumni must contact Anna Pinkas (and CC the Lab Manager) to coordinate a visit.

Is there a Makerspace Club?

The Makerspace Club was suspended at the start of the pandemic, in Spring 2020, but we would love to host it again. If you are interested in getting it back up and running, please contact Anna Pinkas.