Makerspaces

About


Located on the Basement level of Benedum Hall, the University of Pittsburgh Makerspace is dedicated to helping students of all majors and disciplines as well as staff and faculty to gain hands-on experience in design and fabrication. The Pitt Makerspace strives to provide a safe and collaborative environment with suitable facilities for collaboration, learning, design, and fabrication. By gaining entry to the Makerspace, our users have access to a wide range of well-maintained equipment and useful training, helping to catalyze the design and creation of the most creative and advanced technological projects at Pitt.​

We offer many events like workshops, competitions, and a speaker series. Our workshops teach members new and interesting skills to supplement classroom learning with hands on experience. Our competitions allow users to display all the skills and knowledge they have learned against others in the community. The University and greater Pittsburgh area hosts many influential engineering and entrepreneurial figures; we recruit professors and industry professionals to give presentations as part of our speaker series about their experience and expertise.

We have mentors on duty during open hours to train any user on our state of the art machines. There are tools and supplies for prototyping any project, be it academic, Makerspace sponsored, or personal. We encourage interested students, staff, and faculty to stop by or reach out to find what opportunities we have for you!

FALL 2022 Open Hours:

Opening for the fall on September 12

Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Sat/Sun

1-7pm

11-7pm

1-7pm
1-8pm
11-3pm
CLOSED

Our Spaces

Innovation Space Station
(ISS)

Located in room B06A, the ISS is perfect for any early project stages and can be used for ideation and creating rough prototypes.

Equipment and materials include:
  • Assorted low-res prototyping materials
  • Hand tools, drills, and drivers
  • 12 Ender 3 3D printers
  • Vinyl cutter and heat press
  • Soldering and electronics station
  • Sewing machine

Treehouse

Next door in room B02, the Treehouse is our digital fabrication lab, a perfect place to come continue your project once you begin creating designs and CAD.

Equipment and materials include:
  • Two laser cutters
  • Two X-Carve CNC routers
  • Woods and acrylics of various types, thicknesses, and colors
  • Three TAZ 6 3D printers
  • Two Othermill PCB CNC routers
  • Toolchest with standard hand tools

Bioengineering Underground (BiU)

Previously a Bioengineering-only space, the BiU in room B09 is now open to all Pitt students, while still supporting Bioengineering classes.

Equipment and materials include:
  • Three Ender 3  3D printers
  • Cellink BioPrinter
  • Two Othermill PCB CNC routers
  • Six sewing machines
  • Assorted low-res prototyping materials
  • Hand tools, drills, and drivers

Get Trained

Pitt Makerspace training steps:

STEP 1. - Watch the training video here

STEP 2. - Take the quiz here.

STEP 3. - Visit the ISS (B06a) during open hours and talk to a mentor to complete the in-person portion of your training. The mentor will guide you through a 5-10 minute training.

Students who have completed the basic safety training are then eligible to take the 1 hour, in-person Treehouse (B02) training.

Weekly Treehouse Training Schedule:

-Mondays @ 6pm
-Tuesdays @ 7:30pm
-Wednesdays @ 1pm
-Thursdays @ 10am
-Fridays @ 3pm

Events

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can use the makerspaces?

Any current Pitt student (undergraduate and graduate) can use our spaces and materials free of charge!

What time are the makerspaces open?

All open hours are posted on the webstite!

I'm a BioE student, I still get access to B09 right?

All BioE students still have swipe access to B09 and may use the space whenever Benedum is open, BUT you must:
  • have passed the ISS/BiU safety training quiz
  • be respectful of classes and the spaces
  • follow all of our safety rules while in the space
Note that during BioE only hours the back room with the 3D printers will be locked. The back room will only be open during our regular open hours when the space is staffed by a mentor.

How can I get trained on the 3D printer/lasercutter/any other machine?  

Once you have completed the basic ISS/BiU safety training, you can attend open hours and ask the mentor on duty to be trained on the 3D printers.​

The laser cutter and X-Carve trainings are covered in the Treehouse training. Treehouse trainings are only offered in-person, and take 1 hour. Treehouse training times are posted on the website!

For specialty machines, find a mentor that offers that training by hovering over the mentors’ names for a list of trainings they offer, and attending their hours when they’re in the same room as the machine.

Can I use materials other than the ones provided in the spaces?

It depends, if you want to use your own materials that is not one of the materials we provide, you must get it approved by Brandon Barber. You can DM him in the Slack or email him at brandon.barber@pitt.edu.

Where can I laser cut metal?

You can get metal laser cut for certain projects with the Swanson Center for Product Innovation (SCPI), which is the machine shop in Benedum. Contact Andy Holmes at aholmes@pitt.edu for more information.

I have a time crunch on my project, can a mentor print/cut my project for me this weekend?

The spaces are open over the weekend.

Resources

PittCAD

  • The makerspace now has a Thingiverse account for students to upload 3D models to!
  • Check out the PittCAD page here to learn more

Coreldraw

  • To properly format files to be laser cut, vinyl cut, or routed by the X-Carve, you will need CorelDRAW, a graphics editor program
  • CorelDRAW is free to download for all Pitt students through Pitt's software download service
  • If you have a Windows computer, choose any version what runs on your computer​
  • If you have a Mac, you will need a virtual machine program such as Parallels (also available from the software download service) to run CorelDRAW
  • All of the computers in the makerspaces have CorelDRAW, but we encourage you to have the application yourself if you are able to
  • CorelDRAW Walkthrough, a guide on how to prepare DXFs in CorelDRAW​
  • Image Editing CorelDRAW guide, a guide on how to turn a regular image into a vector file ready to be cut

3D Printing

  • We have two models of 3D printers in the makerspaces, Creality Ender 3 printers, and LulzBot TAZ 6 printers. Both printers have their own program for generating gcode
  • Download Ultimaker Cura​ here, used for the Ender 3's
  • Download Cura Lulzbot here, used for the TAZ 6's
  • CURA Guide for Ender 3, a guide on how to use Cura for the Ender 3​'s
  • 3D Printing Machine Training, in case you need a refresher after you complete the training
  • Note: You will not be considered trained on the 3D printers  just by looking at these slides, you still must attend a training by a mentor and complete the quiz