Design and Preliminary Evaluation of a Deployable Mobile Makerspace for Informal Additive Manufacturing Education

Sinha, Swapnil
Rieger, Kelsey
Knochel, Aaron D.
Meisel, Nicholas A.
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University of Texas at Austin

Additive Manufacturing (AM) has played an integral part in the growth of makerspaces as democratization of manufacturing continues to evolve. AM has also shown potential in enabling the successful amalgamation of art (A) with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines, giving new possibilities to STEAM subjects and its implementation. This paper presents the conceptual design and development of a deployable, mobile makerspace curriculum focused on AM education for a diverse range of participant backgrounds, ages, and locations. The aim is to identify effective means of informal learning to broaden participation and increase engagement with STEAM subjects through the context of AM. The curriculum is envisioned as “material-to-form,” offering separate modules that present opportunities for self-directed learning through all the stages of design, material use, and manufacturing associated with AM. Pilot studies of the curriculum were performed to identify potential changes to improve the effectiveness of the mobile makerspace.