Master thesis - Stanford University

Predict the future development of makerspaces in universities ...... prototypes require high precision and more advanced techniques, such as using a water jet to.
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Master thesis Nr. 0061 Makerspaces in the university community Julian WEINMANN



INSTITUTE OF PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT Technische Universität München o. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Udo Lindemann

Master thesis of Mr./Mrs.: Julian Weinmann Matriculation-No.: 03605843

Titel (deutsch): Makerspaces im universitären Umfeld. Title (english): Makerspaces in the university community. Motivation: Makerspaces are open workspaces, which offer a variety of tools and machines, supervision and classes to their users. Users work side by side on different projects within an open culture of collaboration. Makerspaces empower their users to develop, build and test physical prototypes hands-on. Prototyping is a key process of product development, especially in technology driven industries and research. A prototype serves as a milestone and can be used in various stages of the development process to improve communication and learning within a group or organization. It is also an important part of project-centered education and relevant for engineering education. Engineering education in universities is traditionally focusing on the theory and students have little opportunities of creating physical prototypes hands-on inside the university. Many universities have recognized the value of makerspaces and introduced them into the university community. Makerspaces in universities and their implementation differ, depending on the individual university and the purpose they have within the university community. There are many benefits about giving a large portion of the student body access to: they include an increased student motivation, enhancement of learning through a hands-on approach and the promotion of interdisciplinary teamwork. At TUM there are efforts of different departments and organizations to introduce more project-centered classes to the engineering curriculum and allow students to work in a handson manner. One good way to empower students and give them a space to build physical prototypes are makerspaces in the university. Especially in the US, there are many good examples of successful makerspaces in universities, which offer access to students to work on projects both in- and outside of classes. Each university and their makerspaces are different, depending on factors such as the university’s history, culture and focus. However, general lessons can be learned from existing makerspaces, which can help to better understand the implementation of makerspaces in the university. The results can be applied to improve



the current infrastructure at the TUM. Goals: The goal of this thesis is to identify how makerspaces function in the university community and how to apply the results of this analysis to the specific case of the TUM. By looking at examples from other universities, lessons about different forms of implementing prototyping into the curriculum using makerspaces and how they affect student life of technical students at the university can be learned. In order to develop implementation concepts, a good understanding of the current infrastructure at TUM and the stakeholders must be developed. The main analyzed stakeholder groups are engineering students, who are potential users of a makerspace in the university, but other stakeholders in the university community are taken into consideration as well. The final outcome of the thesis is the development of first concepts for implementing makerspaces at TUM, based on lessons learned from existing spaces and the improvement potentials analyzed at TUM. These concepts can help to build the basis for a later implementation at the TUM. This results in the following content:  Identification of the potential of makerspaces in universities – Define and categorize physical prototyping – Define the concept of makerspaces and relevant aspects – Discuss the role of makerspace the university community and engineering education – Predict the futur