PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — The University of West Florida has opened a new 1,000 square foot Makerspace at the Pensacola Museum of Commerce.

The Makerspace offers tools which complement the capabilities of the University of West Florida’s Sea3D lab and the mechanical engineering lab such as laser cutters, woodworking tools, a vinyl printer, industrial sewing machine and embroidery machine. The technologies support interdisciplinary collaborations to invent, construct and design using a variety of processes spanning handcraft to digital fabrication. 

“We’re excited about this new space and hope it encourages students, faculty and staff to put their invention ideas into action by designing, prototyping and creating innovative work,” said Thomas Asmuth, associate professor in the UWF Department of Art and Design.

According to a news release sent by the university, Dr. Barbara Larson, professor of Modern European Art, authored the proposal for the project which was awarded a $250,000 grant in 2017.

Larson, along with Asmuth, and Dr. Wade Jeffrey, Reubin O’D. Askew Institute for Multidisciplinary Studies director, spearheaded the development of the Department of Art and Design’s Makerspace which, along with the Department of Mechanical Engineering’s new Computer Numerical Control Lab and the Sea3D Lab, are all housed in the Museum of Commerce. 

Asmuth, who has managed a Makerspace club in the region, used his experience, networking and entrepreneurial spirit to see the project from start to finish. The Makerspace team partnered with the UWF Haas Center and UWF mechanical engineering to form synergy between the Makerspace, the 3D printing lab and the CNC manufacturing facilities.

The space will be available to the UWF community first, with plans to make it available to the Pensacola community in the future.

For more information on the Makerspace, click here.

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