How Do I Start Making?

Step #1:  Gain Access to the Maker-E

  = You must be logged in to the Bucknell network to access these materials

The Maker-E is staffed during normal working hours so if you want a quick tour or if you’re curious about what the Maker-E has to offer please feel free to drop by Dana 111. Additional hours with Maker-E student technicians are 6-10pm on weekdays and 12-5pm on weekends.

To gain access to the Maker-E facilities, students should complete the following steps:

1. Get your BUID registered to open the Maker-E door by:

2. It will take about one business day to process your request.  After that time, you can use your Bucknell ID card to access the Maker-E during normal business hours.  If you want 24/7 access you will need to complete a quick quest:

  • Stop by the Maker-E from 8-5 to get a quick, in-person orientation from Matt the Maker Master
  • Discuss a project you want to work on or something you’d like to learn about

The Maker-E is located in room 111 of Dana Engineering.

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Step #2: Become authorized on Maker-E equipment

Bucknell’s MakerSpaces utilize an equipment protection tool called a badging box. If you’re new to the MakerSpace, you will receive a blank RFID card (a “badge”). In order to use any of the Maker-E technology, come by during normal business hours to obtain a training badge. With that badge, you can use the equipment to complete one of the in-depth tutorials. Upon completion, please return the training badge, and request access to that equipment through Bucknell’s MakerSpace portal (click on the “Makers” button and sign in/create a login). After you notify a technician that you have completed the tutorial, they will authorize your personal badge for 24/7 use of that equipment. (We encourage you to personalize your badge with the vinyl cutter!)


Step #3:  Start Making!

Alternatively, you can hang out, use the computers, play with electronics using the littleBits kits, or just have a quiet place to study.

November 3rd, 2016

TI Microcontroller (MSP43X)

Microcontrollers are tiny computers that are used to control all kinds of devices.  Many Maker projects build in microcontrollers like Arduinos and TI MSP430s to control lights and motors, collect data from sensors for robots.  These microcontrollers are very popular since they are relatively easy to program without a lot of prior experience. This tutorial will teach you how to hook up a microcontroller for the first time and write a simple program that can control devices hooked to the microcontroller board.  It is designed for people who have very little to no experience using a microcontroller or electronics.  By the time […]

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October 4th, 2016

Breville 980 XL Espresso Machine

The Maker-E has an espresso machine that used by authorized individuals to make coffee.  If you get authorized you will be responsible not only for making delicious caffeinated beverages but also keeping the machine and area clean as well as contributing to the supplies like coffee beans, milk, and water.  Failure to clean up or maintain the machine will get your certification revoked.  If you want to earn the certification click the link below. Link to Breville 980 XL Tutorial

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October 4th, 2016

Design A Printed Circuit Board

You will learn printed circuit board (PCB) design by creating a firefly board to go out on the hallway display.   To design a the PCB you will learn to generate a schematic diagram and organize the board’s components and traces. The PCB Design Tutorial, whose link can be found at the bottom of this paragraph, does not test or teach someone the electrical theory behind how the Firefly circuitry works, but instead aids a student in learning how to use the software needed to transform a schematic from paper into a useful PCB.  If you follow the instructions you’ll be able to […]

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October 3rd, 2016

3 Axis Accelerometer Connected with SPI

This kit connects a three axis accelerometer to a Texas Intruments MSP430 or MSP432 microcontroller so you can learn both about how to measure acceleration as well as how to connect devices using the Serial-Parallel Interface, otherwise known as an SP interface.  Access the tutorial for this Technology Kit here.  You should be familiar with writing a Sketch in TI’s Energia language which is almost identical to that used for Arduinos.

Continue reading 3 Axis Accelerometer Connected with SPI »

October 3rd, 2016

Learn how to Print in 3D

The M3D Printer is great for learning the basics of 3D printing.  You can download a model from a site like Thingiverse, call up the print server from your computer, and use the simple interface to print the design you selected.  To get starting using one of the two M3D printers in the Maker-E read the self-guided tutorial.

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October 3rd, 2016

Printed Circuit Board Mill

A printed circuit board mill will take files from PCB design software and create a custom board you can put components on, solder, and create a new electronic device.  We have an LPKF S100 Protomat that is very powerful and flexible and can be used to create precise circuits.  This piece of equipment is for more advanced users and if you wish to learn how to use it to create printed circuit boards you’ll need to create a Firefly board by completing the training to earn your certification.  The materials you need are in the Google Drive folder linked below. […]

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