ANU Course Support

The ANU MakerSpace was founded around project based learning and has a strong history of supporting coursework across the ANU. We are always keen to assist convenors, including by consulting on developing project-based learning in your courses. However, due to the day-to-day demand on the spaces and staff, we are not able to accommodate all coursework support requests. We are not a bookable space, and some coursework projects will just not be suitable due to the nature or size of the project or cohort. As always, our goal is to find the best possible way to say yes!

Before finalising your curriculum and communicating to students about the ANU MakerSpace, please reach out to us to discuss what’s possible by filling out the form linked below.

Examples of Previous Course Projects

The ANU Makerspace has welcomed students from at least 80 unique courses at ANU. Below are a few examples of previous (and ongoing) projects.

PHYS2020 - Thermal and Statistical Physics
people working on 3D scanner

Students are tasked with building and modifying a sterling engine, heavily utilising the MakerSpace. This project encourages the students to explore digital and manual fabrication and exposes them to the challenges of bridging from theoretical physics to experimental physics. The plans provided typically will not work on their own, meaning students must apply critical thought and translate theory into reality if they wish to build a functional engine. Students also model the engine and measure efficiency. Past students have found this to be a rewarding experience and nothing quite beats seeing an engine they have built sputter to life for the first time.

ARTV2707 - Printmedia and Drawing: Extended Etching and Relief Printing

In this course, students are challenged to utilise digital fabrication to produce some of their artwork. Several of our machines are suitable for this, and using grant funding available to the course, we were able to produce digital content (above) which not only exposed the students to digital fabrication, but primed them for accessing the space and training on our laser cutter. The process of creating printing plates using a laser cutter is unlike other traditional methods and this exposure encourages students to critically engage with the intersection between individual skill and digital fabrication.

ENGN4300 - Capstone Design Project
Stacks Image 482

Left print, recycled filament. Right print, virgin filament.

We have consistently supported a wide array of Engineering Capstone projects, some projects spanning multiple years. Within the MakerSpace, students are able to design and fabricate solutions to their clients problems, utilising the entire array of tools, processes and expertise available.

We have also acted as a client, proposing and supporting teams to further improve the MakerSpace. For example a team of students was tasked with taking 3D printed plastic waste and recycling it back into usable raw material. Students were challenged to manage competing requirements, apply technical fabrication skills and were able to produce a viable solution, reporting to two of our resident engineers.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • No, our spaces are not bookable. We do not have the capacity in our relatively small spaces to grant exclusive use to individual courses. The best use of our spaces is to be open to all members during our generous opening hours. We recommend convenors let students access the MakerSpace at their own pace — this spreads out demand for our resources.

  • While we try our best to ensure all students can access timely inductions and equipment, we are unable to guarantee access to a particular cohort. Please do not rely on MakerSpace access, ensure that any assessment has alternative options to the MakerSpace, and emphasise to your students the lead time required to skill up on any digital fabrication process.

  • We do not run exclusive inductions for a single cohort, and discourage any course from making MakerSpace inductions mandatory. This gives every keen student equal opportunity to get inducted during peak periods, and ensures maximum attendance. If a particular cohort is having trouble making our normally scheduled inductions, we can arrange for additional inductions to be scheduled at suitable time.

  • While the MakerSpace provides a wide range of free consumables to students, we are also able to assign the class a designated link through which they are able to check out free materials from our store for course purposes. Any costs associated are charged back to the course at the end of semester.

  • We recommend all convenors/tutors become inducted into the MakerSpace prior to integrating it into their teaching. This will give you the best sense of how the space operates and you’ll have a chance to speak to our staff about your particular course.