Makerspace and similar advanced manufacturing labs are becoming commonplace at engineering colleges and universities throughout the United States. Although these spaces are hugely popular with students and faculty, only a select few students take full advantage of the opportunities available through such spaces. In order to get more students to utilize Makerspace and similar high-tech labs, it is important to introduce them to such spaces as early as possible. New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), a mid-size polytechnic university, recently opened a large Makerspace. Students in select few sections of the first-year fundamentals of engineering design (FED) course participated. The idea was to (1) teach students what Makerspace can offer to them; and (2) have them complete one or two simple 3D printing projects. Project 1 served primarily to get students to complete the required training and to learn about the Makerspace and 3D printing, whereas, Project 2 focused on engaging students in a competition based on the products they have designed and 3D printed. The winners of the competition from each of the participating section were allowed to 3D print a medium-sized object of their choice. This initiative was very successful as evidenced by strong satisfaction reported by the students in a post-activity survey. We have since made it a permanent part of the course.
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