The Theta Delta Chi Makerspace

Date:September 1, 2016

Site:tdc.mit.edu/makerspace

Details:MorrisVanegas.com/ForMe/Makerspace


About

One of the greatest things about being Graduate Resident Advisors is being a catalysts for the needs of undergrads, much like alumni did for us when we were undergrads. And the work is so much more impactful when it is symbiotic: students needed more capabilities to prototype their ideas, and we always wanted a machine shop at our home.

Come build you, with us

The TDC Makerspace is located in the basement of Theta Delta Chi Theta Deuteron, the MIT charge of Theta Delta Chi. Complete with digital fabrication and hand tools, the space is used by MIT TDC undergrates and alums, completely free of charge! It spun out from the need for students to have a dedicated space outside of campus to work on academic and personal projects. Since its inception in 2016, it has become a platform for studying residential-based learning at MIT.

Grass Roots Movement

The makerspace grew out of the need to expand Morris' makershelf in his room to accomodate the work needed by undergrads. It started with a group brainsotmring of projects and needs, followed by a plan to fundraise from alumni. Fundraising included pricing out specific machines we wanted, designing silhouettes of those machines and laser cutting them, and placing them around the room that was to be the makerspace.

We coupled fundraising with our annual Alumni Banquet, and helped alumni visualize what the space would look like. In this way, alumni had the ability to donate for a particular machine they wanted. With funds in hand, we saved even more money by purchasing the bulk of our equipment during Black Friday.

Collaborations

I know what you are thinking: great, you organized a bunch of tools. Well, not exactly. Through machine and safety training, programming, and machine building, the space has become not only an attraction for new members, but also has been integral to 3 collaborations with outside sources that wouldn't have happened otherwise. We legit yo!