Ryan Kowtecky demonstrating the Makerspace's laser cutter. Photo credit: Douglas Boyle

Technicians Stephen Gagn­­­é and Ryan Kowtecky hosted a workshop on Feb. 14 for students curious about using one of the many laser cutting workstations in the DARE district’s Makerspace.

Students were invited to drop in and learn about how laser cutting can apply any design with etching to personalize materials like: metal, glass, acrylic, wood and plastic.

“It’s super user-friendly,” said Kowtecky. “Makerspace is open to everyone, you don’t have to be alumni, a coordinator or student. The only barrier to entry is the cost of materials.”

In twenty minutes, Kowtecky was able to etch a popular character from the movie Guardians of the Galaxy, Baby Groot, into the surface of a piece of wood.

The image of a popular graphic novel character Baby Groot etched into wood at Makerspace Photo credit: Douglas Boyle

Pictures from the internet or your own designs can be engraved to the back of your phone, laptop or any coated metal.

The laser cutter is only one of the tools available.

Makerspace houses a line of 3D printers, a virtual reality headset, airbrushing guns, a sewing machine and the potential for music recording

Alex Petrie, a mechanical engineering student, arrived at the workshop curious about the open house event.

“It’s open to everyone and I had time between class, so I thought I’d check it out,” said Petrie. “I’m looking for ways to apply what I learn here to my program.”

There are always new additions being made to Makerspace. “By the end of April, the music studio will be open again,” said Kowtecky. “It will be soundproofed and have everything from music software to MIDI controllers and microphones.”

Students are encouraged to spend time at the Makerspace. Technicians are always on hand to help guide you; and the only thing you need to bring is a sense of curiosity and creativity.