Makerspace provides community resources

The MCCC Makerspace is like a mad scientist’s laboratory, said Makerspace coordinator Michael Reaume.

Makerspace technician Maxwell Haar solders components onto a circuit board. (Photos courtesy of Michael Reaume). 

“It’s really cool to be able to have an idea for something to make or need to fix something, and all of the necessary tools and equipment are right here,” Reaume said. 

A makerspace is a place where members of the community can collaborate on projects using resources they otherwise might not have access to.

Equipment available includes computers with computer-aided design software, CNC routers, 3D printers and power tools. 

“It’s really satisfying to design something, print it and have everything fit together perfectly,” Reaume said. 

The Makerspace opened during the 2020 winter semester, Reaume said. However, due to the pandemic, the college had to shut it down. 

During that time, the only people using the Makerspace were volunteers from MCCC and Monroe High School to produce face shields and mask adjusters at the beginning of the pandemic. 

Though the makerspace’s reopening was at the beginning of the 2021 fall semester, people have already been working on several projects, Reaume said.

Michael Reaume, Makerspace coordinator, leads a 3D printing workshop for a Boy Scout troop.

For example, Reaume made a pedalboard for his guitar and 3D printed a Ford Mustang model to give to Jack Roush during his visit to the college. 

“I’m always working on some kind of project, so it’s a good excuse to put some of our tools to use on a regular basis,” Reaume said. 

The MCCC VEX U Robotics team also has been using the space to 3D print robot parts. 

“The team competes in the VEX Robotics competition and part of the competition in designing our robot allows us to create and 3D print custom parts,” said Maribeth Mohn, former VEX U Robotics team member. 

Mohn has also been using the Makerspace to create brackets and mounts for her senior design project. 

“It is a convenient way to 3D print parts when you do not have a personal 3D printer or the parts you need to print are too large for your own 3D printer,” Mohn said. 

The Makerspace is open to any community member 18 or older, according to an informational flyer. 

There is currently no charge to use the Makerspace, stated the flyer. 

To arrange to use the Makerspace, contact Mike Reaume at mreaume@monroeccc.edu or call 734-384-4176. It is located in the Career Technology Center in Room T-160.

“The thing I hear most frequently from people who are new to things like 3D printing is that they can’t believe how easy it actually is, even for people who aren’t inherently tech oriented,” Reaume said. “So I’m excited to be able to teach and provide these kinds of resources to people who otherwise might never have gotten to experience it.”