Teachers and administrators who want to set up a Makerspace at their school often tell us they don’t know how to get started. What tools and materials do we need to allow for a wide range of Maker projects?

Steve Hoefer has put together an excellent overview of the kinds of furniture, tools, and materials you’d need to start a Makerspace for about 25 students in a high school. We’re excited to share with you our latest version of this annotated checklist and guidelines.

This buildout takes a modular approach. Steve describes a general workspace and tools, and then the most popular making areas as modules that a teacher could add on to the basic space. These modules are: Electronics, Textiles, Computers, 3D Printing, and Laser Cutting. For each module, Steve has defined the safety, requirements, and some example projects and resources for that space. Then Steve listed the tools, accessories, consumables, materials and parts that module would need. Each item in the checklist is identified as part of a Basic- or Intermediate-level space.

Take a look at it, and tell us what you think. We welcome your comments and feedback.


P.S. This is a working document, and we not only welcome but encourage your feedback and comments. (updated 23 March)

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7 Responses to Stocking Up on Tools and Materials (for Feedback)

  1. This is very nice. It will help tremendously

  2. [...] Makerspaces are similar, but focus on offering creative and educational project opportunities for youngsters. I’ve been following news behind the nascent Makerspace movement with great interest, but cannot say that I’m pleased with their recent tool and supplies recommendations. [...]

    • Thanks for your feedback, Stuart. These are great points, especially one you mentioned in a separate email about including a FIRST AID KIT in our list. I also want to emphasize something I didn’t make clear in my original posting. This document we’re sharing is a working document, and we are very eager to get comments like yours, from those who are starting spaces or have run them with students for years.

  3. I think adding some desktop cnc for intermediate spaces would be appropriate. Such machines can be used to mill circuit boards, MDF and other wood products. There are a number of these around, including quite a few DIY/kit versions. Having the kids build one would be a great project to make the makerspace.

  4. smokeybehr says:

    Here’s a couple of things to add to the list:

    Stapler, T-50 size, manual or electric
    Staples, T-50 size, 1/4″ and 1/2″

    Socket set, SAE, 1/4″ drive, 3/16″ to 9/16″, standard and deep
    Socket set, Metric, 1/4″ drive, 5mm to 14mm, standard and deep

    Socket set, Metric, 3/8″ drive, 10mm to 22mm, standard and deep
    *Deep sets of already listed socket sets

    If you can plumb a central vacuum system for dust collection for the woodworking tools, that will cut down on the mess created. You can use a large shop vac (5+ gallon size) for the collection unit, 2″ PVC pipe for the ducting, and there are dust collection kits available with adapters and hoses for saws, sanders, planers, and other equipment.

    If you have the funding, issue each student a pair of reusable earplugs and safety glasses. Try to find safety glasses that appeal to the students, and that have replaceable lenses. Encourage the students to purchase their own safety glasses, and come up with a list of approved vendors, models and styles. Make it a hard and fast rule: No eyes (and ears when necessary), no work.

    Make one of the first projects a pouch to hold the safety glasses and ear plugs. A 24″x 6″ strip of fleece, a 1″ strip of sew-on hook and loop fastener, 12″ of 2mm cord, and a cordlok is enough to make each. I can send some instructions if you need them.

  5. mauimaker says:

    Dust extraction is essential! Fine particulate dust is a lung real killer, while the chunks make a mess. The only way to really control the fine dust is to capture it at the source and use an adequate 100CFM (6″) extraction with cyclone & filter… final venting outside is best too. The best site i’ve found to date on dust extraction is http://billpentz.com/woodworking/cyclone/index.cfm
    Bill gives detailed reason why this is important, and provides open source plans/info for very good system. Another good DIY solution for smaller operations is the Thien cyclone separator … http://www.cgallery.com/jpthien/cy.htm