Makerspace Technology: Selection, Use, and Installation of Software, Tools, and Technologies for Academic Makerspaces

An in-depth course that focuses on enabling makerspace operators/managers to understand the most common maker equipment, including selection/purchase, installation, staffing, training and use. This course aims to equip participants with the means to maximize students' hands-on access to these tools and technologies while minimizing risks/hazards and cost.

Participants will also learn software required to prepare parts for fabrication as well as good practices for making quality parts with these technologies.

Additionally, participants will learn about the major issues that affect layout of these technologies in makerspaces. The course consists of a mix of short lectures combined with hands-on working time learning how to use the tools and technologies. Accompanied by MIT students and Staff, participants will work in groups and use these technologies to design and create group projects. Participants will get exposed to the following technologies:


  • CAD
  • CAM


  • Drill press
  • Band saw
  • Measurement tools
  • Two types of FDM 3D printers
  • Laser cutting/engraving
  • Thermoforming
  • Soldering
  • CNC machining
  • Circuit board milling
  • Vinyl cutting
  • Sewing machine

Lead Instructor(s): 

Martin Culpepper
Jonathan Hunt


TBD 2017

Course Length: 

5 Days

Course Fee: 





  • Closed

It is highly recommended that you apply for a course at least 6-8 weeks before the start date to guarantee there will be space available. After that date you may be placed on a waitlist. Courses with low enrollment may be cancelled up to 4 weeks before start date if sufficient enrollments are not met. If you are able to access the online application form, then registration for that particular course is still open.

This March offering of this course has been cancelled. It may be scheduled for later in 2017

Participant Takeaways: 

This course will cover the fundamental principles of successful makerspaces:

  • Critical social, safety, programming and technology components of makerspaces
  • Staffing models
  • Equipment/technology acquisition and installation tips
  • Common maker equipment
  • Common maker technology (e.g. useful software)
  • Basic skills via use of common maker equipment
  • Creating effective safety systems
  • Training models

Who Should Attend: 

This course is designed for anyone that aims to create, maintain, use or understand academic makerspaces. This course is primarily aimed at those starting, or new to makerspaces… or those looking to upgrade traditional academic ‘machine shops’ to makerspaces. You will learn about numerous technologies employed in makerspaces and get a chance to use several of them to make a project.

Program Outline: 

Each day will consist of morning classroom sessions, followed by afternoon sessions in which the participants will work in groups to learn to safely use makerspace equipment including 3D printers, CNC mills, thermoformers and more. We will cover how that equipment is used in successful makerspaces from several universities and participants will tour a variety of MIT's 40+ makerspaces (artistic, entrepreneurial, engineering, bio, student-run, woodworking, student teams, class-based, etc.).

Course Schedule: 

View 2017 schedule (pdf).

This course runs 10:30 am - 4:30 pm on Monday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm Tuesday through Thursday, and 9:30 am - 1:30 pm on Friday. There will be homework assignments to be completed after class each day.



This course takes place on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We can also offer this course for groups of employees at your location. Please complete the Custom Programs request form for further details.


Fundamentals: Core concepts, understandings, and tools (90%) 90
Latest Developments: Recent advances and future trends (10%) 10

Delivery Methods: 

Lecture: Delivery of material in a lecture format (30%) 30
Labs: Hands-on learning (70%) 70


Introductory: Appropriate for a general audience (90%) 90
Specialized: Assumes experience in practice area or field (10%) 10