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Bobcat Made Maker Space

Bobcat Made is a free maker space lab in ASBN 214 where you can work on personal or class projects. This is a collaborative effort between the College of Education and the College of Science and Engineering, but is open to all university students. Our awesome student volunteers are available to help you train in a variety of tools, including laser engraving, 3D printing, embroidery, and more (see tools listed below in tabs to learn more).

Check out our Open Lab Hours and Upcoming Events schedule, which includes training, special themed making nights, and more.


Note: You are welcome to create prototypes for your own company, but no production of items for sale!

Additional Resources

About Us
Open Lab Hours
Upcoming Events
Volunteer With Us

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Meet My Tools

Paper/Vinyl Cutting Machine

Hardware: Silhouette Cameo (watch a video introduction here) Paper/Vinyl Cutting Machine

Software: Silhouette Studio (free software download here)

Uses: This machine is like an X-acto knife on wheels because it cuts digital designs out of thin two-dimensional materials up to 12 inches wide and 1.5 millimeters thick (e.g., paper, vinyl, fabric). You can also swap out the blade for a pen and use it to draw designs onto material. The software allows you to create your own designs from scratch, buy designs from the Silhouette Store, and even trace clip art and photos to create unique personalized projects.

Compatible Materials: paper, cardstock, craft foam, vinyl decal, heat transfer sheets (for t-shirt and fabric decor), temporary tattoo sheets, fabric (single weave cotton or Silhouette Sewable Interfacing work best), and pens, such as Silhouette pens or Circuit Scribe conductive ink pens. For a list of materials that work with the machine, please consult the Silhouette Cameo website. Materials can be purchased online or at local craft supply stores (e.g., Hobby Lobby, Joann’s, Michael’s).

Instructions:

  1. Create a design in free Silhouette Studio software.
  2. Choose your material and prepare the cutting mat.
  3. Prepare Silhouette Cameo machine by manually loading mat and setting ratchet blade depth for your material.
  4. Send the design to the Silhouette Cameo machine for cutting. Be sure the area is clear behind the Cameo so the cutting mat can pass through the machine.
  5. Clean up your materials and area.
  6. Share your creation: @BobcatMade or #BobcatMade

 

Click here for mobile-friendly, printable QuickStart Guide.

Click here for detailed step-by-step instructions and resources.

3D Printer

Hardware: MakerBot Replicator 5th generation (watch a introduction video here) MakerBot I

Software: Any 3D CAD modeling software, such as AutoCAD (free education download here), Blender (free download here), MakerBot PrintShop (free iPad app), or Tinkercad (free web-based app) and MakerBot Desktop software (fress software: https://www.makerbot.com/download-print/ and the driver software is also installed on the Bobcat Made computers). Detailed tutorials available on software’s website or Lynda.com.

Uses: This machine heats up and extrudes plastic PLA filament in thin layers to print 3D objects. Bobcat Made has four 3D printers available. The CAD software allows you to create your own designs from scratch and there are many websites where you can download designs to print. Please note the 3D printing process can take quite a long time depending upon the level of detail and the size. You are limited to a 2-hour print and you must stay to monitor the printing process (why not try out another tool while you are here?).

Compatible Materials: PLA plastic filament is biodegradable and non-toxic. Bobcat Made stocks many filament colors in the lab that are free for you to use, but you can also purchase your own from the MakerBot website store (NOTE: We only allow MakerBot filament).

Instructions:

  1. Create a 3D model design in CAD software (save file as .STL format). You can also find free designs online at Thingiverse, NASA 3D Models, Smithsonian X3D, Project e-NABLE, or Morphosource.
  2. Open your design file (.stl) in the MakerBot Desktop software to preview your print, estimate the build time, and export the printable file (.makerbot).
  3. Choose your filament and load it into the MakerBot Replicator.
  4. Print your design and monitor the design while it is printing.
  5. Clean up your materials and area. Be sure to unload and store filament in plastic bag (humidity in the room can damage the filament).
  6. Share your creation: @BobcatMade or #BobcatMade

 

Click here for mobile-friendly, printable QuickStart Guide.

Click here for detailed step-by-step instructions and resources and read quick tutorials from the MakerBot Getting Started Guide.

Laser Engraving Machine

Universal LaserUses: This machine uses a laser to cut and engrave digital designs out of thin two-dimensional materials. You can also use the rotary attachment to engrave standard-sized glassware.

Hardware: Universal Laser Systems VLS3.50

Software: Adobe Illustrator (available in campus labs) or Inkscape (free download here) and VLS software (driver software installed on Bobcat Made computer). Detailed tutorials available on Adobe Illustrator website or Lynda.com.

Compatible Materials: up to 12 inches x 24 inches x ½ inch, such as: anodized or painted aluminum*, cast acrylic, cardboard, glass*, leather, and wood. Please note that certain plastics cannot be used with this machine because they will create harmful fumes and damage the equipment. The following materials are not allowed: PVC, plastic with Recycle Symbol #3. If you are uncertain if your material can be used safely, please consult the list on the Universal Laser Systems Materials Library.

*These materials are engrave only: the laser will turn an

Instructions:

  1. Choose your material to fit in the 12”x24” machine base (e.g., aluminum, cast acrylic, cardboard, glass, leather, and wood. NOTE: PVC is not allowed). If you are uncertain if your material can be used safely, please consult the list on the Universal Laser Systems Materials Library.
  2. Create a design in Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape software (Settings: File must be RGB; Cutting = RGB Red & Stroke set to 0.001pt; Engraving = RGB Black and any other Stroke width). The software allows you to create your own designs from scratch and even trace clip art and photos to create unique personalized projects.
  3. Prepare the design in VLS driver software to send to the machine.
  4. Prepare the Universal Laser Systems machine. Be sure to check focal length and turn on exhaust fan.
  5. Clean up your materials and area.
  6. Share your creation: @BobcatMade or #BobcatMade

 

Click here for mobile-friendly, printable Quickstart Guide.

Click here for detailed step-by-step instructions and resources.

Embroidery Machine

Embroidery MachineHardware: Bernina 580 (Watch this video to get an introduction to the Bernina and the design possibilities. Also, watch this video to get a basic orientation to the machine and how to set it up for sewing.)

Software: There is software on the machine already, as well as there is Bernina Designer Plus 7 embroidery software in Bobcat Made that you can use to create your own embroidery files (Here is a little more information on that software package: Watch this video to learn more about the Bernina Designer Plus software. The software requires a hardware key (USB drive) to be plugged into the computer that you are using for it to run. That key is in Bobcat Made.

Uses: This machine embroiders fabric. While it can also sew, there are three dedicated sewing machines in Bobcat Made, so we ask that this machine is reserved for embroidery only.

Compatible Materials: The Bernina 580 can embroidery a wide range of fabrics. Be aware that stiffer fabrics, such as denim, should be embroidered using a “jeans” needle to handle the heavier weight fabric. For fabrics that are woven, use the tear-away stabilizer. Knit fabrics should use the cut away stabilizer. Any fabrics with a deep pile (such as towels) should use the wash away stabilizer on the top of the fabric (all other stabilizers are used on the beneath the fabric).

Instructions:

  1. Make sure the embroidery machine is set up in embroidery mode (it can sew, too). Watch this video to see the steps.
  2. Thread the machine. Always refer to the Bernina user's manual for detailed directions so that you do not damage the machine or materials.
  3. Typical uses involve embroidering in a single color. Watch this video to see the steps.
  4. Want to edit the built in embroidery files? Watch this video to see the steps.
  5. Have fun making cool stuff.
  6. Clean up your materials and area.
  7. Share your creation: @BobcatMade or #BobcatMade

 

Click here for mobile-friendly, printable QuickStart Guide.

Click here are for detailed instructions and some video tutorials on using the nifty sewing features.