Welding Comes to the Invention Studio
The Flowers Invention Studio, the largest student-run makerspace in the country, is a completely free space for students to make whatever their hearts desire. Spread across three rooms in the Manufacturing Related Disciplines Complex (MRDC), there are machines for all kinds of projects — a waterjet, 3D printer, a computer numerical control mill, and more. Though the possibilities are endless, the studio recently received a big upgrade.
At the beginning of this year, a welding station was added to the makerspace. Welding, in its most basic sense, is when two metals are superheated and melted together to form a single strong bond.
“You can make much larger creations than ever before,” said Sam Bass, a student welding master. “It opens up many more project possibilities.” Bass has been interested in welding for many years and used to have to find other means to practice his craft, but now he has everything he needs right on campus. Using his knowledge, Bass is able to help others develop their own skills. There are two welding masters, and all students have the opportunity to work with them so that they may one day be able to weld on their own. Welding allows students to make creations on a larger scale than is possible with most other tools. Sometimes, projects can just be for fun, like building a tricycle.
More than just a tool for creation, this station can help students learn.
“You look at welding joints in class, and now you can actually see them in real life,” Bass said. Welding is very common among most engineering disciplines, but students were not able to see the process firsthand. With this new station, students can gain an appreciation and understanding of the craft that is invaluable to inventors. This is yet another effort on campus to provide students with more skills that can be applied to their jobs in later life.
Although this station is part of the Invention Studio, it is located in the Montgomery Machining Mall, a neighboring space in the MRDC. Students looking to use the welding space must abide by the hours and rules of the mall, available at me.gatech.edu/montgomery-machining-mall. The mall’s hours are nearly the same as the Invention Studio, and the workers inside are more than willing to allow students to use the tools available to them.